Sometimes its not so much what it decides as what is says when it decides it that can make a Court of Appeal judgement significant. In R (C) v. Southwark LBC  EWCA Civ 707 the Court confirmed that the extent of any services, including subsistence payments, provided to a child in need pursuant to s.17Children Act 1989 must reflect his or her needs and those of the family members with whom s/he lives.
If, as initially alleged, Southwark had applied an inflexible policy of paying subsistence levels at child support rates (or at any fixed rate), it would have been acting unlawfully . However, as it had assessed the needs of the children the fact that it was paying subsistence rates at child support levels was "purely accidental" and a "co-incidence" and hence lawful (absent a finding that the children's needs were not in fact being met) .
So, as we probably already knew (see R (PO) v Newham LBC  EWHC 256), indicative rates applied in the context of proper assessments of needs are lawful: rigid one-size-fits-all rates are incompatible with the purpose of the Act and are therefore unlawful. In C the Court of Appeal confirmed that this applies whether or not there exists a discreet class, or sub-division, of children in need, such as those who do not have a right to recourse to public funds .
However, the following two comments made by different Lord Justices will doubtless mean that this case is more widely cited that it might otherwise have been: