Forced Marriage Protection Order

By Celia Kitzinger, 16 February 2023 The young man at the centre of this case (M) is 24 years old and has been diagnosed with moderate learning disability and “autistic tendencies”. Back in August 2020, M’s mother told social workers that she had found a ‘suitor’ for her son in Pakistan, and that she plannedContinue reading “Forced Marriage Protection Order”

New Guidance on Closed Hearings from the Vice President of the Court of Protection

By Celia Kitzinger, 8th February 2023 My first experience of a case involving closed hearings was as an observer of Re A (Covert medication: Closed Proceedings) [2022] EWCOP 44. It shook my faith in the justice system. The protected party (A) was in residential care, against her own wishes and those of her mother. While A’sContinue reading “New Guidance on Closed Hearings from the Vice President of the Court of Protection”

A committal hearing to send P’s mother to prison – and the challenges of an in-person hearing

By Claire Martin, 8 February 2023  The hearing I observed, in person at Newcastle County Court, was about whether Mrs Lioubov Macpherson, who is the mother of a protected party in Court of Protection hearings, should receive a prison sentence for breaching court orders.   She has been ordered not to post videos and images ofContinue reading “A committal hearing to send P’s mother to prison – and the challenges of an in-person hearing”

Covert medication of persons lacking capacity: What guidance is there?

By Aswini Weereratne, 6th February 2023 Covert medication is the troubling practice of medicating a person without their knowledge because they have refused treatment considered medically necessary. This is often done by disguising medication in food or a drink.  A few cases before the Court of Protection have placed this practice into the spotlight and raise theContinue reading “Covert medication of persons lacking capacity: What guidance is there?”

“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’.

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. 

Application to name a protected party in the context of ‘jigsaw identification’

Sometimes it’s impossible to report meaningfully on a case without conveying information that makes it “likely” that the person at the centre of the case can be identified.

Cancer treatment in the face of unknowns and expert disagreement

By Ruby Reed-Berendt, 18 October 2022 A man (MB) in his 30s has been in hospital (and deprived of his liberty) since May 2022 after his mental health deteriorated. Although there remains uncertainty as to the cause of his poor mental health, there is a working diagnosis of T-cell lymphoma of the nervous system. NewcastleContinue reading “Cancer treatment in the face of unknowns and expert disagreement”

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.