A court-authorised hip replacement

declaration ordering surgery was the right outcome. I saw a rigorous but caring and collegial environment in court, with a genuine commitment to involving P. Counsel for the parties adopted a clearly non-adversarial approach throughout. The focus for everyone was on making the right decision for P.

Suppressing transparency: A judge comments on a blog post in court

open justice. I had a physical reaction, my gut dropping like a stone, when HHJ Howells said what she did. Their status and power makes judges intimidating.  Barristers are used to the judge addressing them – and they are part of proceedings and can reply. This is not the situation for observers. I was shocked by what happened and this episode has caused me not a small amount of anxiety. I’m a bit worried about writing this account of what happened and how I felt about it. It’s taken me a long time to feel able to do so.

Home-owning resident of 50 years faces intervention by Council

By Daniel Cloake, 24th September 2021 A man whose identity is protected by court order faces temporary removal from his home of 50 years to enable building work and medical treatment to be carried out. I observed this attended (in-person) hearing (Case: 12014791 “JD -v- Ealing Council”) before the Senior Judge of the Court of Protection HHJContinue reading “Home-owning resident of 50 years faces intervention by Council”

Challenge to Lasting Powers of Attorney

By Claire Martin, 23rd September 2021 I observed a remote hearing (COP 13339015) at Lincoln Family Court on 6th September 2021. District Judge McIlwaine was presiding.  The case concerned a challenge to Lasting Powers of Attorney from the Office of the Public Guardian and was preparatory to a final 3-day hearing starting on 27th September 2021.  The applicant is P’s daughter,Continue reading “Challenge to Lasting Powers of Attorney”

Refusing blood products during pregnancy and labour

“The Official Solicitor observes that P is considered capacitous in all the areas in which she is willing to take that [medical] advice; it is only where she is not willing to follow medical advice that she is considered to lack capacity”. 

Forced Marriage Convictions: A view from the police

Many victims of forced marriage are tricked in going back home because they have either told their parents that they will not marry there, or it’s what their parents suspect. In many cases victims end up in remote regions where they do not understand the local area and sometimes even struggle with the language. Victims get trapped abroad and have limited options of getting help.

Coercive and controlling behaviour and undue influence: What is the role of the local authority?

By Bridget Penhale, 13th September 2021 I recently attended most of a 3-day Court of Protection hearing (reported in a blog post by Prof. Celia Kitzinger) concerning alleged coercive and controlling behaviour and undue influence by a man (NC) in relation to an older woman (BU). BU had stated that she wished to marry (or formContinue reading “Coercive and controlling behaviour and undue influence: What is the role of the local authority?”

Forced HIV treatment? A censored account of a case involving possible restraint

By Celia Kitzinger, 9th September 2021 UPDATE: After I corresponded with counsel in this case, the Transparency Order was varied. The original transparency order that was sent to me prohibited publication of any material or info that could identify P including her age, ethnicity/national origin, and the identity of the clinicians or any other witnesses in the case.Continue reading “Forced HIV treatment? A censored account of a case involving possible restraint”

Risk-averse medical decisions, the right to privacy, and best interests: Video-monitoring Part 3

If a best interests’ process had been followed and it had been decided that monitoring was not in David’s best interests, then no court hearing would have been needed and P would not have had his Article 8 right violated for a long time.  If there had been disagreement (e.g. between parent and clinician) after a best interests process, then an application to the Court of Protection might have led to a case process similar to this, but without delay.  The issue in this case is that there was no best interests’ process at all!

Best interests in a contested end-of-life case: Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v AH & Ors [2021] EWCOP 51

What Claire and I witnessed in the Court of Protection was a determined, serious, and lengthy attempt on the part of the judge to determine what AH would want, in the absence of any direct record to help him.  Mr Justice Hayden tried very hard to find out what her wishes would be, and to respect them – giving effect to her autonomy and self-determination.