Protection versus Autonomy and Pragmatism versus Principle: A Balancing Act in the Court of Protection

“This is an account of a Court of Protection hearing before Mr Justice Hayden in the case of Re ‘D’ on Friday 19th June 2020. In it I aim to provide an insight into the hearing itself, and — as someone with a keen interest in the law but no legal qualifications — what it was like to observe…”

Two weeks of Open Justice Court of Protection

“…We look forward to our project playing a role in championing the values of Transparency and Disability Justice in the Court of Protection.”

Articulate, Eloquent and Passionate – but does P have the Mental Capacity to Make Decisions about Four Areas of her own Life?

“…The Judge gave P lots of time to put her case; nothing felt rushed and at the end both barristers, and P, were given the opportunity to add anything else. For the entire 60 minutes, P had probably talked for about 80% of the time…”

Bundles and Bundles of Documents

“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.”

Capacity and Death in the Court of Protection

“…The hearing I observed gave me faith in the system and makes me believe that if things ever got to the Court of Protection, his rights would be respected…”

Person-Centred Decision Making in the Court of Protection

“…As a nurse my main focus is that the person remains at the centre of everything. It was so reassuring to see that this also was the primary focus within a formal court hearing for Mr Justice Hayden…”

Transparency in the Court of Protection

“…like many, I’ve been troubled by the potential effects of the current crisis on vulnerable people, including those who lack capacity. All the more reason, then, to support the goals of open justice and bear witness to the profound decisions now being made remotely in the Court of Protection…”

Seeing, Hearing and Understanding Justice Being Done

“I think I was left with more questions after the hearing had concluded than before it had begun. I could see justice being done. I could hear justice being done. But, hand on heart, I can’t say I fully understood the justice being done. The steps being made towards transparency in justice are very positive but there’s still some way to go.”