London Borough of Islington v EF [2022] EWHC 803 (Fam)

Vulnerable adult (1) The local authority sought orders under the inherent jurisdiction to prohibit EF from travelling to her partner GH in Brazil. He was 11 years her senior, met her online when she was 14, sent her an engagement ring at 15, came to England when she was 16, and returned to Brazil during a police investigation after he was caught downloading images of very young children as part of his addiction to pornography. (2) The judge agreed that EF was a vulnerable adult (she had been a looked-after child, with schizoaffective disorder and a fragile personality) but that despite the "undue influence" she was able to make the relevant (albeit "very unwise") decision, and in any event decided that the inherent jurisdiction does not allow "dictatorial" orders (or alternatively only allows them in truly exceptional circumstances), so refused to grant the orders sought. (3) The judge accepted the local authority's view that EF had the relevant capacity, despite the medical expert's evidence including that "EF could not understand the nature of her relationship with GH, the risks to her from the relationship nor weigh up all the competing factors" and the judge himself finding that "EF does not appreciate the risks to her physical safety nor the risks to her mental health", presumably because he decided that the inability to make the decision was not because of an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain. (4) The proposed travel ban would violate her private and family life rights under Article 8 ECHR.


Full judgment: BAILII


Date: 18/3/22🔍

Court: High Court (Family Division)🔍



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Published: 14/4/22 21:15

Cached: 2024-06-20 18:07:49