In R (on the application of TG v London Borough of Lambeth and SHELTER (Intervener)  EWCA Civ 526 the Court of Appeal has delivered an important judgment on the obligations of local authorities under s. 20 of the Children Act 1989. SHELTER intervened successfully on the question of whether the failure of a local authority's housing department (denying housing responsibility) to have joint protocols in place requiring referral of the Appellant's case to social services pursuant to Government guidance under s. 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 was unlawful. At first instance the judge had held it merely to be good practice. However, the Court of Appeal, allowing the appeal, accepted SHELTER's submissions (which it described as "conspicuously helpful") that the relevant guidance was mandatory and had, save exceptionally, to be followed.
The judgment is here.
Richard Gordon QC acted for SHELTER instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.