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”
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 Janet Weston, 27th April 2021 The Open Justice Court of Protection Project, which supports members of the public to observe hearings in the Court of Protection, is the clearest possible evidence that the Court of Protection can no longer be described (as it was in the press in 2015) as the most sinister andContinue reading “Transparency, Privacy and the history of the Court of Protection”
“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”