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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 17:50 GMT
Teenager sues over foster parents
Highland Council headquarters
The teenager is suing Highland Council for 70,00
A Catholic teenager is suing a council for placing her in the care of Protestant foster parents.

The 18-year-old is demanding 70,000 from Highland Council.

A judge has ruled that the Court of Session in Edinburgh should consider the case. Lord Uist said it involved "novel and difficult questions of law".

The teenager has also complained about being sent to schools which did not meet her needs by providing lessons suitable for her learning disabilities.

Lord Uist had been asked to rule on a procedural question - whether the claim should be heard by a sheriff or by a judge.

I think that the unusual nature of this action qualified it for the Court of Session more than many personal injury actions, some of very low value, which are customarily raised here
Lord Uist

In his written ruling he said: "I think that the only appropriate forum for this action is the Court of Session."

The judge added: "Indeed, I think that the unusual nature of this action qualified it for the Court of Session more than many personal injury actions, some of very low value, which are customarily raised here."

In papers submitted to the court the teenager, who has only been identified as AR, told how she moved from the south of England to the Highland town of Alness with her mother, stepfather and brother.

In May 1997, she was taken into care and remained under the supervision of social workers and foster parents for most of the next nine years.

She said that during that time she was sent to live with two sets of foster carers, but that her needs were not properly met.

The teenager alleged Highland Council had "failed to facilitate" her religious persuasion throughout that period, the court was told.

Suffered anxiety

The girl also complained about being sent to schools which did not provide lessons suitable for her learning disabilities, spelling and hand-writing problems.

She claimed the local authority's treatment breached the European Convention on Human Rights.

The girl claimed that as a result she suffered anxiety, depression and educational impairment and was still being treated by doctors.

She also claimed that she found it hard to get a job and has suffered loss of earnings as a result.

No date has been set for any further hearings.


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