Difficulty Accessing the Court of Protection as Observers

Evie Robson and Claire Martin, 8th April 2021 Editorial Note: Problems with accessing the Court of Protection – especially (but not only) in the regional hubs – pose an ongoing challenge for public observers. “Inadvertent” as well as “deliberate” exclusion of observers is also discussed in Celia Kitzinger’s blog post here. We welcome suggestions asContinue reading “Difficulty Accessing the Court of Protection as Observers”

Mentoring undergraduates to observe a Court of Protection hearing

My experience of mentoring students and integrating a court hearing into the course I was teaching was time consuming but it was a rewarding teaching experience. Engaging with how this hearing unfolded in real time has helped my students to understand the complex interface between law, medicine and lived experience. This can only enhance their development as students, as future professionals, and as citizens and help to promote the principles of open justice.

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”

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?

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.

Excluding the public from Court of Protection hearings: A case before Mr Justice Keehan

By Celia Kitzinger, 7th Jan 2020 Open justice. The words express a principle at the heart of our system of justice and vital to the rule of law. …. Open justice lets in the light and allows the public to scrutinise the workings of the law, for better or for worse. (Lord Justice Toulson R (Guardian News andContinue reading “Excluding the public from Court of Protection hearings: A case before Mr Justice Keehan”

Disability, Social (In)visibility, and the Importance of Open Justice

“…t is my view that society should be made aware of how it treats its disabled members – and that ‘social invisibility’ is a form of willful ignorance, and an unjust privilege. Oppression thrives in darkness, and it is most efficient and effective in silence and in isolation…”

Psychiatric Survivors’ Views on Advance Consent and ‘Forced’ Treatment

“… I remain hopeful that by highlighting cases such as Paul’s and learning from lived experiences of psychiatric survivors, we can make small steps that will lead to better experiences of treatment for those in mental health crisis.”

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.