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Judgments - R (on the application of G) (FC) (Appellant) v London Borough of Southwark (Respondents)

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40.  Not only is this reasoning circular, but it appears to me to be inconsistent with the purpose of the 2002 Order in relation to children aged 16 and 17. Until the Order came into force, a child aged 16 or 17 would not have been treated as being in priority need under Part VII of the 1996 Act unless he or she was “vulnerable as a result of … [some] other special reason” - see section 189(1)(c). If a child of that age fell within section 20 of the 1989 Act, he or she would be provided with accommodation. However, if such a child did not fall within section 20, no accommodation would be provided, unless he or she was found to be “vulnerable” - and even then there might have been an argument that being aged 16 or 17 was not a “special reason". The purpose of the 2002 Order was, as I see it, to fill that lacuna, not to enable a children’s authority to divert its duty under section 20 to the housing authority, thereby emasculating the assistance to be afforded to children of 16 or 17 who “require accommodation".


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