Here are details of the conferences, seminars, lectures, training, and other events that the Open Justice Court of Protection project has delivered to promote the aims and values of open justice and transparency in the Court of Protection.
On the weekend of 29th-30th January 2022, Celia gave a presentation about OJCOP and the role of observers in the Court of Protection at a barristers’ advocacy weekend at Crewe Hall, organised by Oliver Lewis and Leonie Hirst for the Inner Temple.
Gill gave a talk at the Socio-Legal Studies Association annual conference between 30 March and 1 April. Her paper was titled “Using sociolegal scholarship to protect disabled people’s rights during the Covid-19 pandemic: The Open Justice Court of Protection Project” and was part of the Disability, law and social justice: Times of change stream. The conference was hosted this year by Cardiff University via a virtual platform.
You can view Gill’s recorded talk here
Celia participated in the DoLS and LPS Conference on 23rd March 2021. She talked about her experience of observing s.21A hearings, and more generally about how to observe the Court of Protection in action as a member of the public. She joined other speakers including – pharmacist, Petrina Douglas-Hall; and barristers Dr. Oliver Lewis, and Aasiya F. Mughal.
Celia was joined by Claire Martin – member of the OJCOP Core Team, and others to participate in this seminar hosted by the North-West branch of the Court of Protection Practitioners’ Association – a Conversation About Remote Hearings that took place on Thursday 18th March 2021.
The Observer’s Dilemma: Does negotiating with power and parties compromise independence?
Celia shared her experience of observing hearings in the Court of Protection as part of this panel discussion. She talked with other panel members with experience of accessing, or attempting to access proceedings across jurisdictions, and explained how the Court of Protection Transparency framework compares with other approaches in terms of securing open access to legal proceedings and protecting the independence of those who report on what goes on in court.
You can find a recording of the seminar here
The event above was part of Law, Justice, and the Spaces Between – a series of 4 free seminars exploring the pursuit of justice in the English legal system. The events were hosted by Bath Publishing and you can find out more and watch recordings of them here
Transparency Review – On 2nd February, Celia gave a presentation as part of the review being undertaken by the President of the Family Division of the High Court – Sir Andrew McFarlane into transparency in the Family Court (the ‘Transparency Review’). She spoke about the experiences of public observers in the Court of Protection in order that the knowledge gained by OJCOP may inform the review of transparency arrangements in the Family Court.
You can read more about the background to the Transparency Review – e.g. in the Law Society Gazette (here)
Does being watched change how justice is done? The role and function of observers in trials, inquests, family courts, and tribunals – On 21st February 2021 Gill and Celia participated in a panel discussion, attended by 110 people online – drawing on experiences of observing hearings in the Court of Protection we discussed how the presence of an observer in court can impact what happens. Along with others concerned with Open Justice and transparency in other courts and jurisdictions we reflected on the key issues, and what we might learn from each other.
You can watch a recording of the panel discussion here (note that the clip is embedded in the linked webpage – look for “watch the recorded webinar below”)
This was the first in a series of 4 linked seminars on “Law, Justice, and the Spaces Between”. For links to more info, including on the final seminar in the series (in which OJCOP will again participate) see our Forthcoming Events page.
Court of Protection Ethics – on 27h November 2020, Celia gave a talk to final year medical students at Brighton and Sussex Medical School on ethical issues in the Court of Protection.
You can watch Celia’s talk via our YouTube channel here
Open Justice in the Court of Protection: Opportunities for Advocates – Gill spoke at the National Advocacy Conference on 27th October 2020 about how advocates might benefit from observing hearings in the Court of Protection.
You can also watch Gill’s talk on YouTube by clicking here
Open Justice: The Perspective of Public Observers – Celia was invited by the Judicial College to talk to incoming judges in the Court of Protection as part of their induction training on public observers’ experiences in the court and why transparency is important to members of the public.
You can also watch this talk on YouTube by clicking here
The Curious Case Manager – In August 2020, Celia was interviewed by Vicki Gilman for the NR Times podcast series ‘The Curious Case Manager’ about her experiences in the Court of Protection, and the beginnings of OJCOP.
You can watch the interview on YouTube here
The Open Justice Court of Protection Project: An Opportunity for Legal Scholars – on 22nd July, Gill participated in the Early Career Researcher Seminar Day organised by the Mental Disability Law Network. She talked about what legal scholars can learn from observing the Court of Protection in action, and how her experience of undertaking ethnographic research in the court broadened her understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and how it is applied.
Group Seminars – We have also given ‘training’ seminars for professionals interested in observing the Court of Protection as part of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Open Justice in the Court of Protection – Back in June, Celia worked with Jaime Lindsey and the University of Essex Law Clinic to deliver training and support students to observe the Court of Protection in action and write about it for our blog.
You can also read Jaime’s account of the project on our blog here
We welcome the opportunity to explore similar collaborations with other groups and organisations in future. Please feel free to contact us via our Contact page