By Celia Kitzinger, 1st April 2021 Previous blogs – and the mainstream media – have reported that RS ( the person at the centre of a ‘right to die’ case) was Polish, that the members of his family who wanted life-sustaining treatment to continue are Polish, and that the Polish government was seeking his returnContinue reading “He’s Polish: Challenging reporting restrictions”
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 intention of the transparency order is to protect the person’s privacy and this is what many people who become “P”s in the Court of Protection want (or would have wanted). For others, though, their Article 8 right to privacy may be outweighed by the competing interest of their Article 10 to right to freedom of speech and open scrutiny of the circumstances in which they have been placed.
“Something has plainly gone wrong in this case. The public, particularly the taxpayers who fund the local authority with responsibility for KB’s welfare, have a right to know the name of the local authority. In the real world, people won’t try to work out KB’s identity, they’ll moan about the council: and they should be able to do that. If the local authority isn’t named, residents can’t tweet their concerns; people can’t tell newspapers that they’ve also had issues; the local MP can’t ask questions; even the councillors on the local authority may not know that the local authority involved is their local authority: they certainly can’t debate the issue at a public meeting”
“…Overall, we encourage anyone with an interest in open justice (which should be everyone), including students, or aspiring lawyers, to utilise this great project and raise awareness of just how open, open justice can be…”
“The court bundle is, literally, a bundle of documents. In previous versions of the procedural rules for civil cases (i.e. those outside of the Court of Protection) it was explicitly said to be a ‘bundle of documents’ – though that seems to have fallen out of use in subsequent revisions of the rules.”
“…it’s important when writing about hearings observed in the Court of Protection, to bear in mind not only the legal requirements of the Transparency Order, but also the likely impact of what is written on the people centrally involved in the case…”