Many people who contact the Open Justice Court of Protection Project believe that the court is deliberately obstructive of open justice. I understand why it can feel like that.
It really isn’t the case that the lists are deliberately designed to discourage us from observing hearings. It’s just that – very often – they have that effect. Having attended this hidden and “private” hearing, I can’t detect any reason why anyone would have sought to exclude me: there was nothing ‘secret’ or ‘sinister’ about it at all.
By Clare Fuller, 3rd May 2022 I wanted to observe this hearing because it was listed as being concerned with the validity of a Lasting Power of Attorney. Here’s how it appeared in the Court of Protection list for First Avenue House in London: Midday20thApril 2022 Deputy District Judge Kaufman 13628180 CC -v- The Public GuardianContinue reading “Capacity to make a Lasting Power of Attorney”
What families mean by “gravitas” (dignity, seriousness, solemnity) does not in fact reside in court architecture, coats of arms, wigs and robes, or rituals of address and behaviour. In my experience, these external manifestations of “justice” can sometimes seem rather ridiculous, and the “performance” element of the courtroom can alienate lay people and distract everyone from the serious business at hand. Rather, the “gravitas” families appreciate is a quality of attention, a focus, a willingness to engage, in depth, with the medico-legal and ethical issues before the court.
Court of Protection hearings provide very valuable opportunities to observe the practice and effect of oral and written advocacy from skilled QCs and other barristers. Every trainee barrister would come away stronger after observing a Court of Protection hearing…. This was a profoundly useful hearing to observe as a Bar student.
By Celia Kitzinger, 1 March 2022 Ms C says she hates where she lives – in a residential care home (I’ll call it“Beech House”). She has said so “loudly”. She expressed her “strongly held feelings” directly to the judge when he met with her on 25th January 2022. Throughout that meeting she maintained, in strong terms, thatContinue reading “Communicating bad news: A s.21A decision”
A young man with Prader-Willi Syndrome was at the centre of a hearing before Theis J. I can only tell you this because journalist Brian Farmer and I made submissions to the judge saying that we should be allowed to report it and she eventually agreed.