What happens when Lasting Power of Attorney goes wrong?

“There had been a major family falling out between the LPA and her siblings. They saw her as “controlling”, “aggressive” and “paranoid” and said she had imposed unnecessary restrictions on their right to see their mother.” The judge said, ““I appreciate there’s a family dynamic, and it’s tragic to see it play out”. 

A court-authorised hip replacement

declaration ordering surgery was the right outcome. I saw a rigorous but caring and collegial environment in court, with a genuine commitment to involving P. Counsel for the parties adopted a clearly non-adversarial approach throughout. The focus for everyone was on making the right decision for P.

Suppressing transparency: A judge comments on a blog post in court

open justice. I had a physical reaction, my gut dropping like a stone, when HHJ Howells said what she did. Their status and power makes judges intimidating.  Barristers are used to the judge addressing them – and they are part of proceedings and can reply. This is not the situation for observers. I was shocked by what happened and this episode has caused me not a small amount of anxiety. I’m a bit worried about writing this account of what happened and how I felt about it. It’s taken me a long time to feel able to do so.

Coercive and controlling behaviour and undue influence: What is the role of the local authority?

By Bridget Penhale, 13th September 2021 I recently attended most of a 3-day Court of Protection hearing (reported in a blog post by Prof. Celia Kitzinger) concerning alleged coercive and controlling behaviour and undue influence by a man (NC) in relation to an older woman (BU). BU had stated that she wished to marry (or formContinue reading “Coercive and controlling behaviour and undue influence: What is the role of the local authority?”

Best interests in a contested end-of-life case: Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v AH & Ors [2021] EWCOP 51

What Claire and I witnessed in the Court of Protection was a determined, serious, and lengthy attempt on the part of the judge to determine what AH would want, in the absence of any direct record to help him.  Mr Justice Hayden tried very hard to find out what her wishes would be, and to respect them – giving effect to her autonomy and self-determination.

Covering the Court of Protection – a journalist’s take

This is an account of why and how journalists’ reports of hearings are typically so different from the pieces written by bloggers for projects like the Open Justice Court of Protection Project.

A best interest decision about life-sustaining treatment for a person with profound neurological injury following COVID-19 infection

d is enormous and awful to read about” such that she “will never be able to live outside of residential care” and “things that have been dear to her, she will never be able to enjoy in the way she would have contemplated”.  But he clearly stated that this “hypothetical factual matrix” (i.e. even if these facts are all true), “does not automatically indicate a clear best interests outcome”.   

Predatory marriage and coercive control: A hearing before Roberts J

By Celia Kitzinger, 12th July 2021[1] Update: This judgment has now been published BU, Re [2021] EWCOP 54 (24 September 2021) This case before Mrs Justice Roberts, (COP 13503831 heard on 6th – 8th July 2021) concerns coercive control and a planned predatory marriage (or civil partnership). Evidence from an expert psychologist appointed by the court, ProfessorContinue reading “Predatory marriage and coercive control: A hearing before Roberts J”

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”

Does being watched change how justice is done? A researcher’s reflections

Now seems like an ideal time to reflect on what we have learned about the relationships between open justice and social justice and to discuss with those working across other courts and tribunals how our experiences intersect with theirs – what we might learn, and how we might maximise our impact.