Observing a remote hearing in court with the judge

This turned out to be a salutary opportunity for me to experience a “judge’s eye view” of a remote hearing.  I can now better appreciate the somewhat isolating and disjointed experience it creates for the decision-maker sitting in the nearly empty courtroom.

“It will all work out”: The limits of a positive attitude in the Court of Protection

We appreciate that it would be very difficult for clinicians and judges to take a path that would put EJ’s life at risk. Yet, the trauma of her autonomy being overruled, and the loss of trust in professionals and in her own agency are not insignificant considerations. 

Hoarding disorder, dementia and a wish to return home

Celia Kitzinger, 5th December 2022 This is the fifth Court of Protection case I’ve observed about someone with hoarding disorder. (Take a look at my previous blog post: “A case of hoarding” which describes plans to return a person home with safeguards in place to keep her safe.) The woman at the centre of the case I’mContinue reading “Hoarding disorder, dementia and a wish to return home”

Coercive and controlling behaviour continuing after brain injury: Matters of finance and contact

By Joanna Booth, 30th November 2022 The person at the centre of this case (PB) is a 65-old woman who had a brain haemorrhage in 2018. This was so severe that it left her with a lasting brain injury and significantly impaired cognitive functions and since leaving hospital she’s been looked after in a specialistContinue reading “Coercive and controlling behaviour continuing after brain injury: Matters of finance and contact”

Decision-making with clarity and compassion: Validity of LPAs and appointment of Deputy

The judge summarised the proceedings stating “I formally record the LPAs are invalid and should not be registered, and the application for deputyship for property and affairs is approved”. The LPAs were invalid was because Stephen lacked capacity at the time of signing the documents. 

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. 

When wishes and feelings change: A s.21A case but the applicant is now happy with where she lives

By Joanna Booth, 16 November 2022 The case I observed on 10 November 2022 (COP 13966522) was heard before Deputy District Judge Sophy Miles. A woman, SB, is in a care home waiting for dementia and occupational therapy assessment. Her age was not mentioned.  She’s been deprived of her liberty since 27 February 2020.  When first visitedContinue reading “When wishes and feelings change: A s.21A case but the applicant is now happy with where she lives”

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.

Improving P’s quality of life pending a s.21A change in residence

By Celia Kitzinger, 28th October 2022 The person at the centre of the case (I’ll call him “Peter”) is a 71-year-old man who is held against his will in a care home that is not meeting his needs.   It’s a Section 21A deprivation of liberty case (COP 13825795) before Her Honour Judge Buckingham, sitting (remotely) onContinue reading “Improving P’s quality of life pending a s.21A change in residence”

When capacity for contact and sex do not align: Pragmatic decisions and judicial work-arounds

To my mind, the need for judges to adopt creative or pragmatic approaches to reach decisions they feel comfortable with indicates that the state of the law is less than satisfactory. Based on this case and the KF case, it sounds as though this is the direction that decisions about capacity to engage in sexual relations may now be headed: a finding of capacity on a general basis, but with the opportunity for reconsideration where specific individual risks arise.