The Prologue to a Life Story

By Rebecca Poz, 18th February 2021 I have attended court before, both in person pre-Covid, and remotely in 2020. I have attended Magistrate’s Court, Crown Courts, the Court of Protection and the High Court, as well as Fitness to Practice Hearings, but I have only ever attended as an Expert Witness, and once as aContinue reading “The Prologue to a Life Story”

Capacity for sex and marriage

By Claire Martin and Celia Kitzinger, 22nd January 2021 Back in October 2020, a hearing before Mr Justice Poole (COP 13551368) was adjourned, part-heard, after inadequate reports from the expert witness, Dr Quinn.  He reported that the person at the centre of the case (she’s “AG” in the judgment and we called her “Barbara” in our previous blog) lacked theContinue reading “Capacity for sex and marriage”

Autoerotic asphyxiation: capacity and best interests

This case centred around whether an individual, let’s call him ‘James’, had capacity to decide whether or not to engage in a sexual activity known as autoerotic asphyxiation (AEA), the practice of strangling or suffocating oneself during masturbation to heighten sexual arousal. The question of capacity also concerned James’ engagement with other individuals on the internet.

When Expert Evidence Fails

A hearing before Mr Justice Poole (COP 13551368) listed for three days (26-28 October 2020) was adjourned, only part-heard, because of inadequate reports from the expert witness. The expert witness, Dr Q, a consultant psychiatrist, gave evidence that the person at the centre of the case (let’s call her Barbara) lacked mental capacity to make any of the decisions before the court. His evidence simply collapsed under cross-examination.