Uncertainty about capacity for contact – and the inappropriateness of using the inherent jurisdiction

Mrs Justice Lieven remarked that “a vast amount of lawyers and legal expenses” were being used on “a relatively small amount of issues, with very fine distinctions” and that further assessment “does not feel to me, like a proportionate way forward, in a cash-strapped system” where in the case of P “there are already 8 lawyers and 3 detailed assessments”, pertinently adding “What benefit is there to P in all of this?”

Committal hearings and open justice in the Court of Protection

An inaccurate listing on a court noticeboard might seem a small thing. But in contempt cases, that inaccurate listing might lead to your neighbour being sent to jail in secret. That would be a very big thing indeed.

‘Test case’ on Lasting Powers of Attorney – with troubling delay

By Celia Kitzinger, 31st January 2023 At some point in the future, there may be a time for all of us when we can’t make decisions for ourselves.  It may come suddenly, as it did for my younger sister, Polly, who was catastrophically brain-injured in a car crash in 2009.   Or we may lose capacity toContinue reading “‘Test case’ on Lasting Powers of Attorney – with troubling delay”

‘Vindicated!’ The experience of P in the Court of Protection

By JH and NB (with an introduction from Celia Kitzinger) Introduction (by Celia)  There was an urgent Court of Protection hearing at the end of last year before Mr Justice Hayden.  In this blog post, the person at the centre of the case (JH) describes – in his own words, as recorded by a family member-Continue reading “‘Vindicated!’ The experience of P in the Court of Protection”

Observing my first hearing: Plan to terminate contact if father is abusive to carers

For the next 12 minutes he produced a torrent of ‘colourful’ language directly insulting the judge, alongside allegations of staff abusing P, not washing him, not feeding him properly and denying the father access to his son. The Judge remained calm and did not display much of a reaction (apart from one brief wry smile and raised eyebrows) despite some pretty offensive insults! 

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: A course for families

By Anna (daughter of a P) I’m involved in a Court of Protection s 21A application concerning my mother and the origin of this case was a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) application. So when I learnt about this course run by Edge Training specifically for family members of people in care homes and hospitalsContinue reading “Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: A course for families”

“He deserves a chance”? Continuities and shifts in decision-making about life-sustaining treatment

the family in this case was holding on to the smallest glimmer of hope to stave off the devastating certainty of loss if their loved one died. Like so many people, they also had a belief that their family member was the one who would defy the odds – he is a ‘fighter’ whose sheer determination will enable him to overcome catastrophic brain injury. They also conveyed their strong sense that the person they knew is still ‘in there’, in the warm and moving body, that looks so different from how one imagines a classic ‘coma’.

Researching the Court of Protection: Accessing hearings as a PhD student

By Rhiannon Snaith, 9th December 2022  I’m starting a PhD looking at the media reporting of Court of Protection decisions about life-sustaining treatment. I’m lucky enough to have an ESRC scholarship to do this work, under the supervision of Professor Jenny Kitzinger at Cardiff University.  As part of my project, I obviously want to study hearings, understand howContinue reading “Researching the Court of Protection: Accessing hearings as a PhD student”

Observing a remote hearing in court with the judge

This turned out to be a salutary opportunity for me to experience a “judge’s eye view” of a remote hearing.  I can now better appreciate the somewhat isolating and disjointed experience it creates for the decision-maker sitting in the nearly empty courtroom.

“It will all work out”: The limits of a positive attitude in the Court of Protection

We appreciate that it would be very difficult for clinicians and judges to take a path that would put EJ’s life at risk. Yet, the trauma of her autonomy being overruled, and the loss of trust in professionals and in her own agency are not insignificant considerations.