Public Law

Martin Downs has a distinct practice covering judicial review (frequently involving issues of social care) and children’s and mental capacity proceedings (frequently at appellate level) concerning such subjects as radicalisation, international placement and re-location, modern slavery, forced marriage, Human Rights and damages.

He has a distinct practice in care proceedings and radicalization prevention cases. Further able to take on cases with significant family law element. He uses this knowledge to handle inquests, including those concerning the deaths of children in care. Recently, he has acted in a series of judgments concerning the Prevent strategy in regards to prohibiting children from going to Syria, Iraq and Libya.

Listen to Martin talk about his experience tackling radicalisation in the civil courts on episode 13 of our podcast Law Pod UK here.

Selected Cases

Mental Capacity

  • YLA v PM & Another [2013] EWHC 4020 (COP) [2014] COPLR 114: Forced Marriage.
  • Re UF (Secretary of State intervening) [2014] COPLR 93 Charles VP Costs in the Court of Protection

International Issues

  • A v B [2018] EWHC 328 (Fam) (06 February 2018): Successful appeal – removal to Poland
  • Re E (Brussels II Revised: Vienna Convention: Reporting Restrictions) [2014] 2 FLR 151 Munby P.
  • P (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 1174: Article 8 and the placement of children outside the jurisdiction.
  • Leicester City Council v Chhatbar [2014] 2 FLR 1365: Return of a child from Northern Cyprus.
  • A Council v M & Others (No. 4) [2014] 1 FLR 881: Foreign Adoption: Refusal of Recognition.
  • West Sussex County Council v Jade Alma [2017] 1 FLR 1383: [2016] EWHC 2009 (Modern Slavery)
  • In Re TG (Placement in The Gambia) [2017] EWFC 85 Theis J.

The use of Wardship in atypical cases

  • Re K Wardship Order (No. 2) [2014] 2 FLR 310: Publicity.
  • Re E Wardship Order [2013] 2 FLR 63: Child in Voluntary Accommodation.

Human Rights and contested adoptions

  • Re T (A Child) (Early Permanence Placement) [2015] EWCA Civ 983 [2017] 1 FLR 330.
    Re C [2014] 2 FLR 131: Appeal from Care and Placement Orders.
  • Re H (A Child) (Appeal) [2015] EWCA Civ 1284, [2016] 2 FLR 1173
  • Re W (A Child) (Adoption) [2017] EWHC 829 (Fam); [2017] 2 FLR 1628: Munby P said, “This is a very complex and worrying case. It is, I think, by some margin the most difficult and concerning case of its type I have ever been involved in.”
  • Re W (A Child) (No 2) [2017] EWHC 917: certification of leap-frog appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • Re W (A child) (No. 3) [2017] EWHC 1032 (Fam) [2017] 1 FLR 1714: dating of an Adoption Order.
  • Re W (A Child) (No 4) [2017] EWHC 1760; 167 NLJ 7755 (10 July 2017): Court dismissed applications to set aside an adoption/prevent the removal of a child from the jurisdiction and an application for post-adoption contact after an extraordinary evening hearing of the High Court.

Freedom of Expression/confidentiality

  • Re K Wardship Order [2014] 1 FLR 548: Publicity.
  • A Council v M & Others (No. 3) [2012] EWHC 4241 (Fam): Reporting Restriction Order: Adoptive Child; Artificial Insemination.

Serious child abuse or medical issues


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