Another re P (the Bulgarian child – see earlier today – was P at  EWCA Civ 1216) is a placement order appeal (http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2013/963.html). The stark differnce in the care taken over the two cases by differently constuted Courts of Appeal is palable – and truly depressing for the Bulgarian P and her family
- If I were to summarise the reasons why I take the view that we should allow the appeal, I would say that it is because the judge was wrong in that she failed to carry out a proper balancing exercise in order to determine whether it was necessary to make a care order with a care plan of adoption and then a placement order or, if she did carry out that analysis, it is not apparent from her judgments. Putting it another way, she did not carry out a proportionality analysis. Another judge, doing the exercise as it should be done, may or may not reach the same conclusion. Nothing that I say in this judgment should be taken as indicating a view one way or the other.
The fact that Black LJ’s later (by five days) judgement ran to 129 paras, whereas Ryder LJ left his at 39; and that in the Bulgarian case the parties were in person whilst in the later they had full representation, may also say something.