Mentoring undergraduates to observe a court hearing

My experience of mentoring students and integrating a court hearing into the course I was teaching was time consuming but it was a rewarding teaching experience. Engaging with how this hearing unfolded in real time has helped my students to understand the complex interface between law, medicine and lived experience. This can only enhance their development as students, as future professionals, and as citizens and help to promote the principles of open justice.

Two journalism undergraduates observe a Court of Protection hearing

“It wasn’t combative like you see on the TV. Instead there was a very clear statement from the judge that these were civil proceedings and were very different from a criminal case – there was no ‘prosecution’ and it should not be seen as ‘a fight'”

Ethical complexity in a life-sustaining treatment case

By Bonnie Venter, 23rd February 2021 Editorial Notes: (1) A tweet thread about the hearing is available here. (2) The judgment has been published here.  (3) A different perspective on the same hearing (by Bridget Penhale) has been published here. There are moments in life that cause a monumental shift in who we used to be and who we areContinue reading “Ethical complexity in a life-sustaining treatment case”

Treatment withdrawal in the ICU when clinicians and family disagree

By Bridget Penhale, 22nd February 2021 Editorial note: The judgment has been published here. When I logged into this hearing (COP 13712297, before Mr Justice Hayden) on the afternoon of Wednesday 10thFebruary 2021, I discovered it had been listed as an urgent matter relating to medical decisions about TW, a 50-year-old man with a catastrophicContinue reading “Treatment withdrawal in the ICU when clinicians and family disagree”

Who is to blame if the COVID-19 vaccination causes harm to P?

Bridget Penhale, 16 February 2021 Editorial notes: (1) For a different perspective on this same case, check out the earlier blog post by Bonnie Venter here. (2) The judgment has now been published SD v Royal Borough of Kensington And Chelsea [2021] EWCOP 14 (10 February 2021) I attended the hearing on C-19 vaccination (COPContinue reading “Who is to blame if the COVID-19 vaccination causes harm to P?”

Returning P to her family abroad during a global pandemic

By Ravina Bahra, 1st February 2021 Editorial Note: The judgment has just been published (5th February 2021) and is available here. I had the opportunity to observe this hearing (COP 13588956) before Mr Justice Hayden at the Royal Courts of Justice (via MS Teams) on 28th January 2021, having requested access at 9:35am and received aContinue reading “Returning P to her family abroad during a global pandemic”

An inappropriate placement and Article 8 rights

By Beverley Clough, 21 December 2020 After following the Open Justice Court of Protection Project with interest since it was launched in June 2020, I was really pleased to be able (finally!) to attend a hearing on Friday 18th December 2020. The hearing I observed  (COP 13462068 Re ‘LW’, before Mr Justice Hayden)  follows on from a judgmentContinue reading “An inappropriate placement and Article 8 rights”

Is it lawful for Z’s carers to support him in accessing a sex worker?

Z would not be able to make arrangements to visit a sex worker, or pay her, without the support of his team. The Local Authority and CCG have agreed that implementation of a carefully thought through sexual contact care plan to help Z access a sex worker would be in his best interests and they were prepared to commission a care plan. However, they would do this only if the Court would make a declaration that the care plan would be lawful and that no offense would be committed by the care workers in light of s. 39 Sexual Offences Act 2003, which criminalises actions that intentionally ‘cause or incite’ sexual activity involving a person who has a mental disorder, by a person involved in that person’s care.

Waiving anonymity to promote care home visiting rights

The intention of the transparency order is to protect the person’s privacy and this is what many people who become “P”s in the Court of Protection want (or would have wanted). For others, though, their Article 8 right to privacy may be outweighed by the competing interest of their Article 10 to right to freedom of speech and open scrutiny of the circumstances in which they have been placed.

Inviting family into the decision-making process

“I watched as Mr Justice Hayden, with calmness, clarity and compassion deconstructed this fallacy, with the simple but sensitive prompt of “making the decision for him, not for you”. I flatter myself that I have effective communication skills but admit to being unexpectedly moved by watching the judge in action.”