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UNB v Child Protector [2018] SGHCF 10

Outcome: Appeal allowed


1 The mother of two children appealed against the decision of the Youth Court to grant orders for care and protection under sections 4(d)(i) and 4(g) of the Children and Young Persons Act (Cap 38, 2001 Rev Ed) (“CYPA”). The Youth Court ordered that the children were to reside with their father, while their access with their mother would be subject to the approval and review of Child Protective Service.

Court’s Decision:

2 The Family Division of the High Court allowed the appeal and set aside the care and protection orders.

3 A court determining whether to make a care and protection order under sections 4(d)(i) and 4(g) of the CYPA should consider if the nature of the risk and the extent of the emotional injury in question is such that a blunt instrument of last resort is justified. The state may not intervene just because the child may be suffering from some emotional injury, regardless of its extent and the family circumstances: at [37].

4 There will be situations where the nature of the risk to the children is such that state intervention is warranted. These commonly involve care and protection orders made where neither parent is a fit parent. The harm from which the children are being protected may be physical or sexual abuse by the parent, or may involve significant psychological or emotional abuse. Where the allegations relate only to psychological abuse, or where there is suspicion that the children have been coached by a parent to make allegations against the other, the court must subject the evidence to sufficient scrutiny before determining whether state intervention is warranted: at [57].

The full text of the decision can be found here.

This summary is provided to assist the public to have a better understanding of the Court’s judgment. It is not intended to be a substitute for the reasons of the Court. All numbers in bold font and square brackets refer to the corresponding paragraph numbers in the Court’s judgment.
Subject Matters: General children issues

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