How being watched changes how justice is done: ‘Insider’ Perspectives

It is a fundamental principle that justice should not only be done, but should be seen to be done. With nobody watching, ‘open justice’ is simply an abstract ideal. But how does being observed change how justice is done?

A mother abroad and a family dispute

By Kristy Regan, 11th January 2021 At the third attempt, after a couple of false starts (a case made private at the last minute and an email request not replied to), I gained access to my first Court of Protection hearing: COP 13677853. This was a case at the Royal Courts of Justice before MrContinue reading “A mother abroad and a family dispute”

“RPR”, “IMCA” and “Paralegal” – what are these roles?

By Tory Smith, 6th January 2021 I am a paralegal working at MJC Law. One of MJC Law’s specialties is health and welfare cases in the Court of Protection and in the vast majority of our cases we represent “P” (the protected person).  By way of my own background, I have been involved within theContinue reading ““RPR”, “IMCA” and “Paralegal” – what are these roles?”

Unwanted amputation and its likely aftermath

By Monica Young, 23 December 2020 Editorial note: You can listen to Nageena Khalique QC, counsel for P talking about this case in a YouTube video. Her account of this case lasts for about four minutes starting at 18:50 minutes into the recording. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML-PDLIkrSc&feature=emb_logo The hearing that I attended on Thursday 17th December 2020 (Case: 13693467 beforeContinue reading “Unwanted amputation and its likely aftermath”

Privacy, Capacity, and the Judge’s Communication Skills

“Hayden J has been at the forefront of ensuring that the voice of P is heard in the Court of Protection and that P is included in the hearing about them as much as is feasible… This hearing embodied that, with Hayden J taking the lead in ensuring that Ms P’s voice was not only heard but that she fully understood the proceedings. “

Advance decisions on intimacy

“the proposal gives rise to strong feelings [and] poses challenges to conceptions of what we are willing to empower people to decide about in advance, and about how expressions of sexual preference could be ‘housed’ within such decisions where they may clash with the views of others around the person about what they consider to be acceptable.”

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.

Where P should live

“One of the most relevant and pleasing aspects of the hearings has been the evident attention paid to the involvement of P in proceedings. Although P did not attend any of these hearings, what did come across and was clearly conveyed was a real sense of P as an individual and what their views, wishes and feelings were/are in relation to the life-matters affecting them.”

Influencing ‘best interests’ decisions: An eloquent incapacitious P

“Many of us may be deemed by the courts to lack capacity to make key decisions about our own lives at a point where we believe ourselves entitled to make decisions for ourselves – indeed the very loss of insight that can come with brain injury may render us completely unable to recognise our own limitations. Like Mr G, we may fight (and lose) an argument that we are capacitous.”

Costs and benefits of acting as expert witness in the Court of Protection

By a Serious Brain Injury Case Manager, 13 October 2020 This tweet gave me reason to pause and reflect because it came on the back of a request by a lawyer to commission me, as a professional working in acquired brain injury, as an expert witness for the Court of Protection.  The vast majority ofContinue reading “Costs and benefits of acting as expert witness in the Court of Protection”