Closed Hearings: Submission to the Rules Committee

It would be helpful for the Guidance to consider ways in which the taint of deception could be removed, as far as possible, from cases involving closed hearings and to recognise and seek to minimise the moral injury they can cause. 

No ‘exit plan’: Re A (Covert medication: Closed Proceedings) [2022] EWCOP 44

At any point in the last two years of treatment, A might have discovered the medication in her food, or been alerted to the medication by a carer.  At any point her grandparents (who visited her in person) could have commented on her pubertal development and raised suspicions.  Or she herself could have questioned her breast development, her hair growth or changing body shape. Was there really no contingency plan in place to deal with this?  

Reflections on open justice and transparency in the light of Re A (Covert Medication: Closed Proceedings) [2022] EWCOP 44

What happened in this case strikes at the very heart of the work of the Open Justice Court of Protection Project.  It’s very unfortunate that the manner in which this case became public knowledge was via a blog post based on a misapprehension of the facts – necessitating a Statement correcting those facts.

Statement from the Open Justice Court of Protection Project concerning an inaccurate and misleading blog post

We will now investigate how it came about that an observer was admitted to a public hearing in which a salient (‘magnetic’) fact of the case was meticulously concealed (by order of the court), leading – surely inevitably – to inaccurate reporting.