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. 

No ‘exit plan’: Re A (Covert medication: Closed Proceedings) [2022] EWCOP 44

At any point in the last two years of treatment, A might have discovered the medication in her food, or been alerted to the medication by a carer.  At any point her grandparents (who visited her in person) could have commented on her pubertal development and raised suspicions.  Or she herself could have questioned her breast development, her hair growth or changing body shape. Was there really no contingency plan in place to deal with this?  

Reflections on open justice and transparency in the light of Re A (Covert Medication: Closed Proceedings) [2022] EWCOP 44

What happened in this case strikes at the very heart of the work of the Open Justice Court of Protection Project.  It’s very unfortunate that the manner in which this case became public knowledge was via a blog post based on a misapprehension of the facts – necessitating a Statement correcting those facts.

“I have to tell you something which may well come as a shock”, says Court of Protection judge

By Daniel Cloake, 12 October 2022 Editorial Note: The Open Justice Court of Protection Project has issued a formal Statement about the case described here. This is an observer’s account of the first day of that hearing. The judgment is publicly available: Re A [2022] EWCOP 44. We subsequently raised concerns about the court’s decision toContinue reading ““I have to tell you something which may well come as a shock”, says Court of Protection judge”

Statement from the Open Justice Court of Protection Project concerning an inaccurate and misleading blog post

We will now investigate how it came about that an observer was admitted to a public hearing in which a salient (‘magnetic’) fact of the case was meticulously concealed (by order of the court), leading – surely inevitably – to inaccurate reporting.

Reflections from a social worker on a case about capacity for sex: Hull City Council v KF

A key part of effective social work practice is being able to form open and trusting relationships with service users – relationship-based practice can facilitate more effective communication, allowing for transparency and a person-centred approach. Conflict often arises when outcomes don’t match a service users wish, creating a strain on the relationship. One way to rebuild this relationship is to keep the service user informed, ensuring they are aware of decisions being made and the reasons for them.

Determining capacity for sex with her abuser

By Celia Kitzinger, 25th July 2022 UPDATE: We’re sad to learn (from Mr Justice Poole on Thursday 27th October 2022) that the woman at the centre of this case (KF) has recently died. This is a desperately sad story about a woman (KF) who is pleading to have intimate unsupervised contact with her abuser before she dies[1].  Continue reading “Determining capacity for sex with her abuser”

Capacity for sex and marriage

By Claire Martin and Celia Kitzinger, 22nd January 2021 Back in October 2020, a hearing before Mr Justice Poole (COP 13551368) was adjourned, part-heard, after inadequate reports from the expert witness, Dr Quinn.  He reported that the person at the centre of the case (she’s “AG” in the judgment and we called her “Barbara” in our previous blog) lacked theContinue reading “Capacity for sex and marriage”

Accountability for the rape of a vulnerable woman

“KB could not comprehend that a baby was growing inside of her. As a result of her learning difficulties, she was unable to verbalise beyond an occasional yes/no and it was deemed that she would not be able to undergo a vaginal birth. In his judgment, Mr Justice Poole said that the evidence shows that KB’s lack of understanding is “profound”

Deprivation of Liberty at an Urgent Hearing

By Caroline Hanman[1] – 17th November 2020 The person at the centre of this hearing (pseudonymised as “Michael” in this post) is a young man under the age of 18. He’s autistic and he has learning difficulties and ADHD (“attention deficit hyperactivity disorder”).  He sometimes exhibits challenging behaviour which on occasion has resulted in physical injury toContinue reading “Deprivation of Liberty at an Urgent Hearing”