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No order principle

This is a key principle of family law. It says a court must only make a court order for a child if this is better for the child than not making an order. The principle is set out in Section 1 of the Children Act 1989.

What this means in practice is that a court should always ask itself whether making an order has been shown to be better for the child than making no order at all.

The no order principle applies to private law proceedings as well as public law cases.

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