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What IS the Court of Protection?

This is intended to be a beginner’s guide to the Court of Protection, not exclusively intended for lawyers. There are, in fact, some journalists who might benefit from it.  You may have been reading about the Italian woman who underwent a ceasarean section without her consent, and want to know how decisions like this are supposed to be made and what powers the Courts have.

To be fair to the national press, I’ve just had to expand 3000 words to absolutely race through even the basics of the Court of Protection, without even getting into the nuts and bolts of this case, so one can see why they end up saying “A secret Court” and leave it at that.   Perhaps in future, this piece might be a handy link or source for anyone who wants to understand the basics of  how that secret court is meant to operate.

I in no sense think that the Court of Protection is flawless or perfect, and it is perfectly possible for very bad decisions to be made, but at least understanding the nuts and bolts of the fact that decisions are made by a Judge, with a lot of tests and guidance might help people avoid some of the more dreadful factual errors that came about with some of the recent reporting. Otherwise you end up endlessly debating the rights and wrongs of a set of abhorrent things that DIDN’T actually happen, as opposed to very real and important rights and wrongs of a set of very troubling things that DID.

[It is like determining US and UK foreign policy post 9-11 based on Kay Burley’s account on Sky News on the day that “The entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States has been decimated by terrorist attacks” rather than what actually happened, which was awful and significant enough without lurid inaccuracies *]

What is the Court of Protection, and is is a secret court?

The Court of Protection is a branch of the English and Welsh court system, dealing with cases involving people who either do not have capacity to make decisions about certain things for themselves, or to determine whether in fact they do have that capacity. The Court of Protection as we now know it was set up by the Mental Capacity Act 2005, building on the Court of Protection which had previously dealt with financial matters  (Thanks to @barbararich for pointing out my original inacuracy, now fixed, and for doing so nicely).

It is not open to the public. The Press have to make an application if they want to attend the hearing. Some decisions of the Court of Protection (judgments) are made public on law sites like Bailii

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/COP/

if they contain important points of law or principles which might apply to other cases or are in the public interest, but the day to day decisions are not made public  (yet – the President of the Family Division has indicated that he intends to bring about publication as a matter of course of all decisions of the family courts and probably the Court of Protection too).  When those decisions are made public, the identity of the person concerned is usually anonymised.   (There are certain, though rare cases, where the identity is revealed, such as the Mark Nearey case http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/mark-neary-they-didnt-understand-steven-they-saw-me-as-a-fly-in-the-ointment-2295565.html )

So the Court of Protection is certainly secretive – there are arguments that this is done to protect the vulnerable people concerned, but the President of the Family Division takes the view that the counter argument that without exposing their decisions to public scrutiny there’s a risk that the public lose confidence in the work they do and that hyperbolae is taken as gospel  (he would seem, from events this week, to be right) and it is almost irresistable now that judgments from the Court of Protection will be made routinely available, and probably that the Press attendance at Court of Protection hearings will become the default position (with the Court having to given reasons why they SHOULDN’T be there)

Why did the Court of Protection come about?

It was introduced by the UK Parliament as a result of a case that went to the European Court of Human Rights, involving a man who is known as “L”  (the case is also well known as the “Bournwood” case, after the Trust involved). L had been a day patient at a centre, and lived normally with a family. He did not have capacity to make decisions for himself, but was not mentally ill or dangerous. One day he had an episode at the centre and when his family came to collect him, they were told that he had to stay at the centre. Now, if L had been detained under the Mental Health Act, his family would have had all sorts of legal safeguards and abilities to challenge his detention. Equally, if L had had the capacity to say to the unit “I want to go home” they would have had to let him, but L fell between these two situations, and there was no proper mechanism. Many commenters and professionals working with vulnerable adults felt that it was inherently wrong that someone like L could be detained for months or years with no legal safeguards, just because he wasn’t in a position to object. The ECHR agreed.

At the same time, Parliament brought into one statute, legal provisions for some decisions that the High Court had historically made under their Inherent Jurisdiction  (Inherent Jurisdiction would require a whole other beginners guide, but if you just read Inherent Jurisdiction as “High Court superpowers” you won’t go far wrong) – for example deciding whether doctors could carry out surgery on a patient who was refusing it, dealing with marriages where people had no ability to understand the marriage vows, protecting the finances of vulnerable people, and wrapped it all up into one statute.

The thinking was to give protection and safeguards for the most vulnerable people in society, those who are not able to look out for their own interests.  (Many commenters believe that the MCA began with those noble intentions but hasn’t in practice delivered on them)

Who brings cases to the Court of Protection ?

The cases are normally brought by one of these four groups (though others are possible) : –  the health trust whose doctors are treating the person, the care home who is providing care for the person, the Local Authority who are providing services for the person, or on behalf of the person or their family.

How does the Court decide whether a person has capacity?

The Mental Capacity Act sets out a test as to the REASON why the person lacks capacity

Section 2

(1)For the purposes of this Act, a person lacks capacity in relation to a matter if at the material time he is unable to make a decision for himself in relation to the matter because of an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain.

(2)It does not matter whether the impairment or disturbance is permanent or temporary.

And then sets out a test for deciding WHETHER  a person lacks capacity

Section 3 Inability to make decisions

(1)For the purposes of section 2, a person is unable to make a decision for himself if he is unable—

(a)to understand the information relevant to the decision,

(b)to retain that information,

(c)to use or weigh that information as part of the process of making the decision, or

(d)to communicate his decision (whether by talking, using sign language or any other means).

(2)A person is not to be regarded as unable to understand the information relevant to a decision if he is able to understand an explanation of it given to him in a way that is appropriate to his circumstances (using simple language, visual aids or any other means).

(3)The fact that a person is able to retain the information relevant to a decision for a short period only does not prevent him from being regarded as able to make the decision.

(4)The information relevant to a decision includes information about the reasonably foreseeable consequences of—

(a)deciding one way or another, or

(b)failing to make the decision.

It is VERY VERY important to note that a person is entitled in law to make a bad decision, an unwise decision, a daft decision, a decision that no other person would take; AS LONG as they understand the situation they are making the decision about.   (For example, Carla out of Corrie is entitled to marry Peter Barlow even though he is a love-rat with a history of bigamy, an alcoholic and is trying it on with Tina from the Rovers, even though many people would think she was foolish to do so. But if she does not understand that marriage is the union of one man and one woman (currently) and is intended to be for life although it can be ended through divorce, then she can’t marry him.  Just as, if he drinks and is so intoxicated that he can’t understand that, he can’t legally enter into a marriage contract  – but that is PRETTY drunk)

It is also important to note that just because a person lacks capacity to make one particular decision, it doesn’t mean that they lack capacity to make any sort of decision. Some decisions are more complicated to weigh up than others and need more capacity to understand.  Over a period of time, the Court of Protection has decided cases and set up guidelines for what sort of understanding a person has to have for certain decisions.

For example, classically, in order for a person to have the capacity to consent to sexual intercourse they have to be able to understand the following three things :-

(i) The physical mechanical act

(ii) That pregnancy can occur and what pregnancy is  (and contraception)

(iii) that you can get diseases through sex (and how to avoid that)

The person doesn’t have to understand the emotional implications (that you could get heart-broken or sad, or that the other person might) or be able to weigh up who is a good person to have sex with and who is not, just those three factors.    (For homosexual sex, the second factor is taken out)

You will see from the legal test that the person has to be helped, with explanations suitable for them, to reach the point of understanding the issues so that they can make the decision for themselves. The law WANTS people to make the decision for themselves, and it is also worth noting that the starting point is that every person HAS capacity unless evidence is provided to the contrary.

If the Court decide that a person lacks capacity, what then?

The Court then have to make what is called a “best interests” decision.  That means deciding what is in the best interests of the person. That might be what the State (the doctors or social workers) say is best, it might be what the person themselves is saying or showing that they want, or it might be something else entirely.

The legal test is set out in the Mental Capacity Act

section 4 Best interests

(1)In determining for the purposes of this Act what is in a person’s best interests, the person making the determination must not make it merely on the basis of—

(a)the person’s age or appearance, or

(b)a condition of his, or an aspect of his behaviour, which might lead others to make unjustified assumptions about what might be in his best interests.

(2)The person making the determination must consider all the relevant circumstances and, in particular, take the following steps.

(3)He must consider—

(a)whether it is likely that the person will at some time have capacity in relation to the matter in question, and

(b)if it appears likely that he will, when that is likely to be.

(4)He must, so far as reasonably practicable, permit and encourage the person to participate, or to improve his ability to participate, as fully as possible in any act done for him and any decision affecting him.

(5)Where the determination relates to life-sustaining treatment he must not, in considering whether the treatment is in the best interests of the person concerned, be motivated by a desire to bring about his death.

(6)He must consider, so far as is reasonably ascertainable—

(a)the person’s past and present wishes and feelings (and, in particular, any relevant written statement made by him when he had capacity),

(b)the beliefs and values that would be likely to influence his decision if he had capacity, and

(c)the other factors that he would be likely to consider if he were able to do so.

(7)He must take into account, if it is practicable and appropriate to consult them, the views of—

(a)anyone named by the person as someone to be consulted on the matter in question or on matters of that kind,

(b)anyone engaged in caring for the person or interested in his welfare,

(c)any donee of a lasting power of attorney granted by the person, and

(d)any deputy appointed for the person by the court,

as to what would be in the person’s best interests and, in particular, as to the matters mentioned in subsection (6).

(8)The duties imposed by subsections (1) to (7) also apply in relation to the exercise of any powers which—

(a)are exercisable under a lasting power of attorney, or

(b)are exercisable by a person under this Act where he reasonably believes that another person lacks capacity.

(9)In the case of an act done, or a decision made, by a person other than the court, there is sufficient compliance with this section if (having complied with the requirements of subsections (1) to (7)) he reasonably believes that what he does or decides is in the best interests of the person concerned.

(10)“Life-sustaining treatment” means treatment which in the view of a person providing health care for the person concerned is necessary to sustain life.

(11)“Relevant circumstances” are those—

(a)of which the person making the determination is aware, and

(b)which it would be reasonable to regard as relevant.

You can see that the Court are obliged to consider and take into account all that is known about what the person themselves wants, or would want, or has previously expressed about wanting (remember that a person might only temporarily lack capacity, so the Court have to take account of anything the person said or showed about the issue in the past), and also has to take into account the views of anyone who cares for the person or is interested in their welfare.

This is the difficult bit, and in most Court of Protection cases, the majority of the judgment is spent on the Judge deciding what is in the ‘best interests’ of the patient to do.  Sometimes that accords with what the patient is saying or showing they want, sometimes it does not.  It is the hardest part of the exercise, and to an extent, I agree with Lucy Series from The Small Places blog about capacity and mental health :-

A recently ratified UN treaty – the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – poses the question: why should people with disabilities and mental illnesses face these kinds of interventions when people without do not? It looks very much as if the Mental Capacity Act itself is not compatible with this Convention, although views on this differ. It is certainly a question it would be good to see the media asking more often… Again, this is an issue that comes up a lot around the Mental Capacity Act 2005: how can we distinguish decisions which are merely irrational or unwise, which everybody is entitled to make, from those which are incapable. This is actually quite a profound philosophical problem (my own view is that it is insoluble; ‘mental incapacity’ is a conceptual device which we cling onto to mask the value judgments we are bringing to bear when justifying interventions in situations which we regard as intolerable). The disability Convention referred to above poses serious questions about how we deal with ‘capacity’, and emphasises the role of support for decision making. Even the Mental Capacity Act requires support to be provided for a person to make their own decision before it is made on their behalf, and decisions made on their behalf should involve the person as far as possible. “

How does the Court ensure that it is making the decision that is right for the person, and not the decision that “seems” the right thing to do from a paternalistic “The State knows best” approach.  The Court of Protection at essence is a referee between the tension of “the State needs to decide what is best for vulnerable people” and “people should be free of State interference and make their own decisions”.  It is not easy, and it can seem to those outside that the Court of Protection doesn’t always get things right.

It is certainly a new system (in terms of law, 8 years of operation is a baby) and it would be astonishing if mistakes weren’t being made and lessons were there to be learned. So it is important to scrutinise the decisions and for the Court of Protection to be responsive and reflective to changes both in law and attitudes in society. Twenty years ago, a man saying that he intended to marry another man would have seemed peculiar to most of society, now a Conservative Prime Minister is driving that change.

But, if a person doesn’t have capacity to make a decision, how do they fight the case?

Well, this is the million dollar question. Remember firstly that just because a person lacks capacity to make one decision doesn’t mean that they lack capacity to make all decisions. So it is possible for a person to be able to instruct his lawyers to fight the case, whilst the Court decides on the real issue in question. But very often the issue of capacity will also affect the person’s capacity to instruct a solicitor.  There is firm guidance on the legal test to be able to instruct a solicitor, and where a person doesn’t meet that test, they can’t give instructions directly to a solicitor.

[A person who HAS capacity is able to tell their solicitor to do something really foolish or unwise or downright dumb – i.e Carla can tell her solicitor to put all of her assets in Peter Barlow’s sole name and to sign a pre-nup saying that she has no claim on any of what is now his property. That’s stupid, but if she understands the nature of what she is doing, she can do it.]

What happens ordinarily then is that an agency known as the Official Solicitor is appointed by the Court   (not by the social worker or Trust, as certain national newspapers seem to think) and the Official Solicitor will decide how the case is to be run on the persons behalf  – that might be to fight the case every inch of the way, it might be to offer no resistance, it might be to be neutral and say that the doctors or social workers have to prove their case, or it might be that some parts of the case are challenged very hard and others aren’t. It is up to the Official Solicitor)

Now, one can see where that causes a problem. The person lacks capacity, say, to make an informed decision that if surgeons don’t cut off their foot they will die of gangrene, but is very vocally saying “Don’t cut off my foot, I would rather die”.   The doctors will be able to tell their lawyers to argue all the reasons why the surgery will happen. The Judge knows what the person is saying and has to take it into account. But there could very well be no lawyer who actually argues to the Court all of the reasons why the surgery SHOULDN’T happen, they will only do that if the Official Solicitor decides that it is in the person’s best interests to fight the case.

(You may see that you end up with both the Official Solicitor and the Court making decisions about what each of them CONCLUDES is in the person’s best interests to do and that can appear to be a blurring of roles.  When a lawyer acts for someone who has capacity, she gives them ADVICE about what is in their best interests, often very strong advice, but where a person says “I hear all that, but I still want to do X instead” that lawyer goes into Court and argues fearlessly and without favour for X.  You end up with, here, a situation where the most vulnerable people in society get less protection from the lawyer charged with representing them, than they would if they had capacity)

If you want to know more about the decision of the Court of Protection in ceasarean section cases, I heartily recommend this piece , which focuses on the legal side and the tests to be met

http://thesmallplaces.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/more-questions-than-answers-on-forced.html#more

and this piece

http://www.birthrights.org.uk/2013/12/views-on-the-forced-cesarean-judgment/

Which looks at it from the perspective of the pregnant mother

* She actually did say that. And what better reason do I need to crowbar in a “Who said this, Kay Burley or Ron Burgundy” quiz?

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/29/anchorman-2-ron-burgundy-kay-burley-quiz_n_1387332.html

Stay classy, internet

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About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

29 responses

  1. Ashamed to be British

    Thank you, thank you so so much, this is going to help me and my parents so much, 1000 brownie points for you

  2. Thanks again for the meticulous research.

    So, passing the buck to the OS with a tendency for ‘undue influence’ is often simply the thin edge of the wedge for irreversible, unwarranted state interference to split up a family instead of keeping it together UNTIL nothing else will do.

    Hence, from a family human rights perspective, the burning question remains UNANSWERED whether this is ‘necessary’ or even ‘reasonable’ in a democratic society when the state in the guise of a local authority and health trust sets off obfuscating.

  3. Sorry to sound a bit cynical, but here goes.
    The NHS wanted the C Section but social workers were there on the doorstep and took the baby and then justified their actions by stating she was allowed to be with the baby for a day or two.
    We all know that the NHS works with SS and LAs also also work with the legal support of the LAs whether outsourced or in house. etc etc.
    Worth noting that in many areas you will not find a solicitor who does not get bread and butter money from LAs and therefore in many peoples views that can be a conflict of interest.
    It is also a serious conflict of interest when LAs also arrange adoptions.
    So you have a mother with mental health issues that caused a panic attack and she ends up having a forced C Section and her baby removed. Mother sent back to Italy alone and baby kept by SS.
    It is clear that the area of protection does not give a vulnable person the same rights as anyone fully capable.
    If capable you would not agree with the treatment this lady received and if not capable you would want to believe you would be treated with the respect a human being deserves.

  4. Once accepting the above, a once closed mind might then accept that the abuse of vulnable people has been happening behind closed doors for decades. If it all leaked out there would be a great public outcry.
    So ‘in the public interest’ kicks in where it states that if the information damages the ‘trust’ in an LA or other authority, it would not be allowed in the public domain, hence the need for secrecy as in family courts.
    Problem is that most people tend to keep their heads down and not confront certain subjects wrongly believing it could never happen to them. Hence while the cat sleeps the mice will play.
    But one day it has a good chance of happening to them. They may quite rightly believe they will never end up in a family court. Though it could only take a messy divorce.
    That person with the head in the sand, could have a breakdown, have a skiing accident, be a car crash or may just end up elderly with Alzeimers, Parkinsons or any other dementia.
    At some point in anyones life, you will spend a time of being vulnable
    So ok, lets look at the family courts again. Does anyone really want to ignor the problem, be sold on the idea that some people deserve to lose their children and by secret courts

  5. No-one should be ignoring the secrecy in family courts because one day at your most vulnable someone could be making decisions about your life that you will have no power to change and it will all be in secret and against your wishes.

  6. Yes it was an interesting read, but sadly I have worked with the vulnable and have always known people are abused by the very people who are surposed to care for them and more than that there is nothing and no-one to protect them.
    Unless they come across someone who is not afraid to speak out or the odd case reaches media attention. Even then if may save one or two vulnable people but not the rest. It may close one home down but many more spring up.
    And all of these people have well oiled speechs in defence of their abuse, from bad carers to social workers to managers to owners of homes for both children and elderly and its the same old story.
    It is also all designed to deflect from the cruelty and corruption rampant under the secrecy.
    Lets face it when it comes to the family courts it is not the parents who want the secrecy even if they have not been the most perfect of parents. Its the LAs, the social workers and its allies.
    So anyone can work out who the real criminals are.
    And when it comes to mental health, the same can be said.

  7. Rubbish! A lawyer`s feast. Tie them up in legal knots designed by lawyers and then we must go to lawyers to untie the knots. But, sorry, only for people with a certain level of income. Not for the poor people who are actually going to suffer the most from this pathetic legislation.

    Disingenous.

  8. Alice, also a true word there. If someone handed most parents in a family court a milion pounds for a top rated solicitor and barrister, most parents would have their children returned.
    It is a sad fact that most solicitors also cannot source all the information they need on the parents behalf or spend the time on the case that the case requires. Many parents lose their children on either negligent solicitors or ones that do not investigate a case.
    Add to that most solicitors get their bread and butter money from LAs and you get a non working model in law to represent any working class family.
    As for the word ‘sinister’ used by family rights campaigners. When so much is wrong with family courts it is easy for anyone to see that the word ‘sinsiter’ may not be such a wrong judgement.
    The whole system is set against the parents.

  9. If only social workers could be called ‘ethical’ as in most doctors and in real ‘care’ professions.
    Having my husband with Alzeimers who also suffers with a heart condition we have many doctor and hospital appointments.
    Recently he had a minor heart attack and he was taken to hospital. The doctor needed to do several tests which carried a ‘risk’. It was to determine whether a heart operation could be done to help him.
    The surgeon was concerned over his Alzeimers and that all treatment and or operations would be wanted by him if he was capable to answer for himself.
    To answer this I asked my husband in front of the doctor and also arranged for his adult children to be there. The conversation was all held with my husband and other absent family on the telephone.
    The moral of this story is that the social workers FAILED this woman. To work with ethics and as a professional you can clearly see the difference between the woman who had the forced C Section and my husband being treated by the surgeon.

  10. What people dont seem to realise is that from the day a social worker enters your door, you are forced by them and procedures to carry out any and all of their demands. There are often times when this can have a serious negative impact on your children.
    A parent is also put through a frightening roller coster of emotions and deep concern for the children.
    A parent will also have many untrue statements made about them which can be psychologically damaging and in many cases the forced serpation from your children creates concerns about where they are and whether they are being cared for properly.
    There is no point, as a now vulnable person, are you being given any human compassion or care from the social services. And in effect the children are also made vulnable and at high risk of harm.
    This and much more does not make a social worker a professional. The ethics are lacking from social work.

  11. Between the parent and the Judge proves the game of Chinese whispers.

  12. A parallel in example thus, from a real case:-
    A person with an axe to grind phoned social services and told a lie about a mother.
    The social worker visited the house.
    No concerns but the mother asked the social worker to help with the troublemaking neighbour.
    The social worker went on to involve herself with the mother.
    A friend of the neighbour phones social services and makes false allegations about the mother.
    The social worker opens a case against the mother.
    During a questionaire the mother states she was chaotic dresser in the mornings.
    Bad choice of word by the mother who meant to say thus. Time was short in mornings, getting children ready for school and having to rush off to work after the school run. Anyway a uniform was worn at work, so to throw on a pair of jeans and t shirt is fine.
    The social worker writes a report stating the mother was a chaotic person.
    This report is handed to a psychologist who uses the word and states the mother is a chaotic person who has obvious problems.
    By the time it gets to a Judge, there was also many false allegations made by the social worker.
    The reports of the ‘neighbour with the axe to grind’ were also considered.
    This is taken from a real case and the mother lost the children.

    • Ashamed to be British

      Real case:
      Mother tells nursery she needs to drop a day or two as cannot afford 5 day a week fees,
      Nursery says no problem, they will approach social services who have a funding scheme.
      Mother has no dealings with ss, all phone calls and correspondence dealt with by nursery
      Fees for two days are paid
      Years later mother (after ss involvement, years of hell, false accusations, lies and failure by ss) applies for access to records after they come for her grandchild.
      Access to records send files.
      First paragraph – ‘phone call from mother, stating if her nursery fees aren’t paid, she will kill herself and her children’ :s

      • Ashamed to be British. If an person read your case story, most would not believe it and sadly nor would most of the people or agencies that work with the social services.
        But I do because I have absolute proof in many cases that many social workers are far from honest.
        And I use the word ‘many’ because I have no doubt that if all cases were invesigated fully with the co-operation of the parents, it would shock even the most hardened of people.
        Because it happens so frequently in not only one case but frequently in each case, it certainly could be said as sinister.

      • Ashamed to be British

        Oh I know … I also have several years containing a catalogue of lies, the proof to dispell them, recordings, emails and running sheets where the Local Authority managers tell agency staff what to say, what not to tell me, when not to speak to me, to refuse to answer me … and so the list goes on.
        The ico had shouted at them to give me what I asked for, unfortunately for them, they took that literally …

      • Powerful words too Ashamed to be British and very true. Sadly it also changes thousands of children’s lives too and ususally for worse.
        Taking the stats for children in care and leaving care. The children become very damaged young people with high levels of loss of education, crime, prison and young offenders, unstable relationships, early pregnancy, mental health problems, learning disability etc.
        And for the parents caught up in such an abusive system, it can cause mental health problems caused by relentless false allegations and often removal of children with no evidence or proof that any offence has ever been committed.
        As I said earlier, social work has no ethics or at least none that any social worker feels obliged to work too.
        And their excuse for not working to any care or ethics, is that child protection comes first.
        Which is quite strange and not in any way an answer to the abuse of both adult and children’s lives.
        Some have ended in death or suicide including that of the children.

      • Ashamed to be British

        I know, I was a care child myself, both my parents were barnardo’s children

  13. The truth of the story above was that the neighbour was annoyed because the mother made a comment to the neighbour about the neighbours children being left alone and sometimes locked out of the house late in the evening. The neighbours children were very young and the mother was concerned about the neighbours children.
    The neighbour set about seeking revenge and phoned the social services with a lie about the mother.
    In other words the neighbour was concerned about that the mother calling might call social services about her, so to deflect social services investigating them she set off the chinese whispers against the mother, then got a friend to join in.
    The reason for the chosen friend was was obvious. The friend knew and got on well with the social worker.
    Had the social worker turned up late in the evening and done some checks the social worker could have stopped it there and then. She would have found the neighbours children locked out and NOT the mother who was accused.

  14. It also shows the problems involved with reading other peoples bundles.
    The sharing of information can only be of any use if all the facts are checked before being passed on.

  15. FOR AN INSIGHT TO THIS CORRUPT BODY I HAVE HANDS ON EXPERIENCE OF WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF AFTER SUFFERING 13 UNLUCKY YEARS OF IT. WHERE IT HAS CAUSED MY OWN ILL HEALTH OF L.A.S. LEGAL ABUSE SYNDROME ALL INFORMATION AT THE WEBSITE OPG.ME …. http://WWW.OPG.ME OR http://WWW.OPPOSEPREDATORYGUARDIANS.COM

    • Ashamed to be British

      No-one is ever the same after social services intervention pet, it changes you forever, no matter in what way, you become a totally different person
      I’m sorry you had to suffer

  16. deputy for my son ..no solicitor just myself………..small amount of compo,,100 grand…single mother living off benefits as had to give up work after my sons accident….used some money for his therapies , fuel money for appointments all over the country. his room converted .,,,any funds used for my sons benefit……harassed all the time by opg asking for recites/ reasons for spends..took all money out and put in isa for him,,,now being harassed because i didnt ASK them if i could……if not then wtf did cfo release his money…former deputy mispend his money yet my problem if i want to take him to court..even tho I pay 375 a YEAR for them to ‘look after ‘ his account…..totally stressed?depressed and feel victimized by the COP/OPG!!!! THEY KNOW NOTHING OF HIS NEEDS ! feel like running away! x

  17. Ashamed to be British

    Now decide who the court is protecting, as pointed out by Jerry, this judgement names the very people they’re trying to stop being named, what a right royal cock up/car crash/train wreck this is

    Thank you to Jerry Lonsdale for the info, which incidentally has been removed from the govt website, I’ll leave you to decide why that is

    In the Italian Job case there has been made an RRO which is a Reporting restrictions order which is this:-
    In the HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
    Family Division
    Sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice
    Before Mr Justice CHARLES In Open Court
    IN THE MATTER OF CHILD A (A GIRL D.O.B 24.8.2012)
    IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE ACT 1960
    AND IN THE MATTER OF THE CHILDREN ACT 1989
    AND IN THE MATTER OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998
    AND IN THE MATTER OF THE INHERENT JURISDICTION OF THE HIGH COURT
    After hearing Mr A.Verdan QC who appeared on behalf of the local authority and Mr A.
    Wolanski who appeared on behalf of Associated Newspapers Limited;
    REPORTING RESTRICTION ORDER MADE BY MR JUSTICE CHARLES ON 4th
    DECEMBER 2013 SITTING IN OPEN COURT.
    IMPORTANT WARNING: ANY PERSON OR BODY WHO KNOWS OF THIS ORDER
    AND DOES ANYTHING TO BREACH ITS TERMS MAY BE HELD TO BE IN
    CONTEMPT OF COURT AND MAY BE IMPRISONED, FINED OR HAVE THEIR
    ASSETS SEIZED.
    IF YOU ARE SERVED WITH THIS ORDER YOU SHOULD READ IT EXTREMELY
    CAREFULLY AND ARE ADVISED TO CONSULT A SOLICITOR AS SOON AS
    POSSIBLE. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK THE COURT TO VARY OR
    DISCHARGE THE ORDER.
    The parties
    1. The Applicant is Essex County Council (“The Local Authority”).
    The First Respondent is B (“The Mother”).
    The Second Respondent is C (“The Father”).
    The Third Respondent is A (“The Child”).
    2. The lead solicitor employed by the Local Authority is Stacey Lane, whose direct telephone
    number is 01245 506794 and email address is Stacey.Lane@essex.gov.uk, and to whom all
    enquiries about the scope and effect of this order should be addressed.
    Recitals
    3. On 4 th December 2013 the Court considered an application for a reporting restriction order.
    4. (In the case of an order made without notice)
    This order was made at a hearing without notice to the First and Second Respondents. The
    reason why the order was made without notice to the First Respondent was a risk that
    notice would lead to identification of the child. The reason why the order was made
    without notice to the Second Respondent was his address is unknown.
    5. This order was made at a hearing with notice having been given to the Press Association.
    6. The Judge read the following documents: the proposed application, a draft Order and a
    statement from a social worker employed by X Local Authority and was informed that the
    child had been placed for adoption.
    7. Schedule 1 to this order is an explanatory note in plain English. It forms part of this order.
    The note must always be supplied to any person affected by this order.
    8. At present the address of the child and the names and address of her carers are not
    public knowledge. Those names and address are therefore not set out in this order.
    Those details must remain strictly confidential.
    9. Subject to the following paragraph, this order binds all persons and all companies or
    unincorporated bodies (whether acting by their directors, employees or in any other way)
    who know that the order has been made.
    Territorial limitation
    10. In respect of persons outside England and Wales:
    (i) Except as provided in sub-paragraph (ii) below, the terms of this order do not affect or
    concern anyone outside the jurisdiction of this court.
    (ii) The terms of this order will bind the following persons in a country, territory or state
    outside the jurisdiction of this court:-
    (a) the first and second respondents or their agents;
    (b) any person who is subject to the jurisdiction of this court;
    (c) any person who has been given written notice of this order at his residence or place
    of business within the jurisdiction of this court; and
    (d) any person who is able to prevent acts or omissions outside the jurisdiction of this
    court which constitute or assist in a breach of the terms of this order;
    (e) any other person, only to the extent that this order is declared enforceable by or is
    enforced by a court in that country or state.
    Undertakings to the court
    11. If the court later finds that this order has caused loss to a Respondent or to a third party
    and decides that such Respondent or third party should be compensated for that loss, the
    applicant shall comply with any order the court may make.
    12. The applicant will not without permission of the Court seek to enforce this order in any
    country, state or territory outside England and Wales.
    IT IS ORDERED THAT:-
    13. The applicant is granted permission pursuant to the Children Act 1989 s100 to apply for an
    order in the exercise of the Court’s inherent jurisdiction.
    Prohibited publications
    14. Subject to the “territorial limitation” above, this order prohibits the Respondents from
    facilitating or permitting the publishing or broadcasting in any newspaper, magazine,
    public computer network, internet website, social networking website, sound or television
    broadcast or cable or satellite program service any information that reveals the identity or
    name or address or whereabouts of the child, or the identity or name or address or
    whereabouts of her carers, or any pictures of the child or her carers if, but only if, such
    publication is likely, whether directly or indirectly, to lead to the identification of the child
    as being:-
    (a) A child subject of proceedings under the Children Act 1989 or the Adoption and
    Children Act 2002; and/or
    (b) A child who has been removed from the care of his parents; and/or
    (c) A child whose contact with his or her parents has been prohibited or restricted.
    15.. No publication of the text or summary of this order or the supporting documents (except as
    provided for below under “service of this order”) shall include any of the matters referred
    to in the preceding paragraph.
    Permitted publications
    16. Nothing in this order shall prevent any person from:-
    a) publishing information relating to any part of a hearing in a court in
    England and Wales (including a coroner’s court) in which the court was
    sitting in public and did not itself make any order restricting publication;
    b) seeking or publishing information which is not restricted by the section
    “prohibited publications” above;
    c) enquiring whether a person or place falls within the section “prohibited
    publications” above;
    d) seeking information relating to the child(ren) while acting in a manner
    authorised by statute or by any court in England and Wales;
    e) seeking information from the lead solicitor acting for the local authority,
    whose details are set out under “the parties” above, or from any press
    officer employed by the local authority;
    f) seeking or receiving information from anyone who before making of this
    order had previously approached that person with the purpose of
    volunteering information (but this paragraph will not make lawful the
    provision or receipt of private information which would otherwise be
    unlawful).
    Duration of this order
    17. Subject to any different order made in the meantime, this order shall have effect until 4pm
    on 13th December 2013.
    The right to apply for variation or discharge of this order
    18. The parties and any person affected by any of the restrictions in the section “prohibited
    publications” above of this order may make application to vary or discharge it to a judge
    of the High Court on no less than two working hours’ notice to the Applicant and the Press
    Association and, if practicable, to the other parties. Any such application shall be supported
    by a witness statement endorsed with a statement of truth.
    Service of this order
    19. Without prejudice to the terms of the “territorial limitation” above, copies of this order
    (which is endorsed with the notice warning of the consequences of disobedience) shall be
    served by the applicant (and may be served by any other parties to the proceedings):
    a) by service on such newspaper and sound or television broadcasting or cable satellite
    or programme services as they see fit, by fax or first class post addressed to the
    editor (in the case of a newspaper) or senior news editor (in the case of a
    broadcasting, cable or satellite programme service) or website administrator (in the
    case of an internet website) and/or to their respective legal departments; and/or
    b) on such other persons as the parties may think fit, by personal service.
    Costs
    There shall be no order as to costs.
    Dated 4th December 2013
    JJ

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