“There’s clearly a case for saying that skeleton arguments should normally be automatically available to observers in a public hearing and provided to us by counsel in a suitable format. “
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.
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?
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.
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”
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.
By Adam Tanner, 28th October 2020 Over the past seven years I have worked within the justice system and have been an observer as a law student and PhD researcher in several hundred in-person court hearings. Since the lockdown restrictions commencing in March 2020, there has been a new feel to the justice system inContinue reading “A COVID-Secure Attended Hearing”
Ruth was not in court. She was represented in court by a barrister appointed and instructed via the Official Solicitor. Her barrister reported that “Ruth is very clear in her own mind that she does not lack capacity to make these decisions”. But he did not argue on her behalf that the court should accept that she has capacity.
Gerald “strongly believed he could manage at home with care visits, but preferred to stay in the current ‘so-so’ home if around-the-clock care was needed. If a care home was truly necessary, Gerald asked only that one capable of accommodating his cat could be found….”
By Emily Williscroft, 7 October 2020 My experience of observing a Court of Protection hearing was exciting and bewildering and a brilliant educational opportunity. I feel inspired to observe more hearings because it’s such a fantastic way of learning more about the law in practice. I finished my undergraduate degree (with first class honours from EdgeContinue reading “A law graduate’s first experience of a COP (telephone) hearing”