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”.
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
“I’m a Year 12 student (aged 16) interested in studying Law at university but I’m not able to get any work experience due to the pandemic, so observing a Court of Protection hearing was a great opportunity. ..”
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.
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”