Joshua Hazelwood appears in the Court of Appeal
Joshua Hazelwood acted for the respondent local authority before the Court of Appeal in a judgment handed down on 6 July 2023 dealing with procedural and substantive issues relating to an application for leave to apply to revoke a placement order.
This being the first case in which the Court of Appeal has directly addressed the uncertainty of whether a child should be a party to such an application. Whilst concluding that a child should be made a party under Part 18 it considered that the anomaly of the court having the ability not to appoint a Guardian to a substantive application to revoke a placement order but not having the same discretion within the leave application should be referred to the Family Procedure Rule Committee for review.
In dealing with the first limb of the test for leave, the Court stated that it would be wrong to say that a change of mind without more can never amount to a sufficient change in circumstances.
In this case, the Court stated that the fact that the appellant was actively putting themselves forward as a potential carer is potentially a change in circumstances sufficient to open the door to the grant of leave if the second stage is satisfied and whether it is will depend on an assessment of the circumstances that led to the placement order being made.