The Supreme Court will today begin hearing the appeal in CN & GN v Poole Borough Council. The case will consider the extent to which local authorities owe a common law duty to protect from harm children living within their communities. Among the important issues being considered is whether the decision in D v East Berkshire Community NHS Trust was correct, and whether it has been impliedly overruled by later House of Lords and Supreme Court authority. In D, the Court of Appeal concluded that local authorities did owe a duty at common law, a contention rejected by the Court of Appeal in this case.

The appellants are represented by Lizanne Gumbel QC, who leads Iain O’Donnell, Duncan Fairgrieve and Jim Duffy. They are instructed by Leigh Day. Philip Havers QC and Hannah Noyce appear for the AIRE CENTRE, one of a number of organisations granted permission to intervene, with Martin Downs among those representing the Coram Children’s Legal Centre.

The appeal is being heard over a day and a half by Lady Hale (President), Lord Reed (Deputy President), Lord Wilson, Lord Hodge and Lady Black.

Read more about the case below: