When another assessment is not needed: Best interests decision-making for a patient with a prolonged disorder of consciousness

s going to be, what would he have decided? He was not going to decide that on the basis of a SMART score.”

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.

Forced HIV treatment? A censored account of a case involving possible restraint

By Celia Kitzinger, 9th September 2021 UPDATE: After I corresponded with counsel in this case, the Transparency Order was varied. The original transparency order that was sent to me prohibited publication of any material or info that could identify P including her age, ethnicity/national origin, and the identity of the clinicians or any other witnesses in the case.Continue reading “Forced HIV treatment? A censored account of a case involving possible restraint”

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.

Covid vaccination contrary to parents’ wishes

As the hearing ended, JS’s father put a comforting arm around JS’s mother. They both looked upset and anxious.  “We just hope your decision brings benefit to our son, rather than more harm”, said his mother.  “Mrs S, so do I”, said the judge: “Nobody has a working crystal ball, but I firmly believe it’s the decision that’s best for JS”. 

Observing a Court of Protection hearing as year 11 and year 13 students

By Martha Purdy,  Meg Aitken and Claire Martin, 22nd July 2021 Attending a Court of Protection hearing is an excellent opportunity to see justice in action. Two students, Meg – about to start medical training in September 2021, and Martha – starting A levels in September and interested in Law, joined Claire (part of the Core TeamContinue reading “Observing a Court of Protection hearing as year 11 and year 13 students”

On care, coercion and childbirth in the Court of Protection

By Ruth Fletcher, 5th July 2021 The decision in ‘An Expectant Mother’ is unsettling on many levels, not least because it takes a harsh legal approach when a care-full one is needed.  Instead of paying even more attention to the experience of the agoraphobic pregnant woman at the heart of this case, somehow the judgment has endedContinue reading “On care, coercion and childbirth in the Court of Protection”

Happy First Birthday to the Open Justice Court of Protection Project

Celia Kitzinger and Gill Loomes-Quinn, 15th June 2021 One year ago today, on 15th June 2020, we launched the Open Justice Court of Protection Project, a child of the pandemic.  It was born of our passionate belief that “publicity is the very soul of justice” at a time when it seemed that the public health emergencyContinue reading “Happy First Birthday to the Open Justice Court of Protection Project”

‘No Entry’ – Open Justice at the RCJ

By Daniel Cloake, 10th June 2021 “It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.’” So reads the infamous line from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to justify the assertion that the all-important plans hadContinue reading “‘No Entry’ – Open Justice at the RCJ”

Choice, human rights and childbirth in the Court of Protection

By Rebecca Brione, 26th May 2021 Over the last two years there have been at least eight cases heard in the Court of Protection concerning place and mode of birth for women who were deemed to lack capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The case reported last week is the second in a few months aboutContinue reading “Choice, human rights and childbirth in the Court of Protection”