March 2018 chronology

See March 2018 update for a thematic summary of these changes.

  • 28/03/18 (9): Litigation friend case. Jhuti v Royal Mail Group Ltd (Practice and Procedure) (2017) UKEAT 0062/17Summary from judgment: "While there is no express power provided by the ETA 1996 or the 2013 Rules made under it, the appointment of a litigation friend is within the power to make a case management order in the 2013 Rules as a procedural matter in a case where otherwise a litigant who lacks capacity to conduct litigation would have no means of accessing justice or achieving a remedy for a legal wrong."
  • 28/03/18 (8): Vexatious COP application case. Re SW (No 2) [2017] EWCOP 30 — "This is another utterly misconceived application by a son (the son) in relation to his mother, SW. ... The son's application as it was presented to the District Judge was, in my judgment, totally without merit, misconceived and vexatious. His application under Rule 89 is equally devoid of merit. It must be dismissed, with the consequence that the District Judge's order striking out the original application remains in place."
  • 28/03/18 (7): Medical treatment case. Re SW [2017] EWCOP 7 — (1) "[A]s matters stand, the transplant being proposed cannot proceed, whatever the court may say or do. As it has been presented to the court, this scarcely coherent application is totally without merit, it is misconceived and it is vexatious. It would be contrary to every principle of how litigation ought to be conducted in the Court of Protection, and every principle of proper case management, to allow this hopelessly defective application to proceed on the forlorn assumption that the son could somehow get his tackle in order and present a revised application which could somehow avoid the fate of its predecessor." (2) "As against the son, the claim for costs could not, in my judgment, be clearer. Given everything I have said, this is the plainest possible case for departing from the ordinary rule, set out in rule 157 of the Court of Protection Rules 2007, and applying the principles set out in rule 159. ... [B]oth Dr Waghorn and Dr Jooste, in my judgment, are persons against whom a costs order can be made even though are not, formally, parties to the litigation – and, if that is so, then for the same reasons as in relation to the son, it is, in my judgment, fair and just to order them to pay the costs." (3) "There is no reason why either SW or SAN should be named, and, indeed, every reason why they should not. Nor, in all the circumstances, is there any reason why the son should be named. Dr Waghorn and Dr Jooste, however, stand in a very different position. There is a very strong public interest in exposing the antics which these two struck-off doctors have got up to, not least so that others may be protected from their behaviour."
  • 28/03/18 (5): Extradition case. Cash v Court of First Instance, Strasbourg, France [2018] EWHC 579 (Admin) — "At the conclusion of the hearing on 13 March 2018 I allowed the Appellant's appeal and quashed the extradition order made by District Judge Grant on 15 March 2017. I did so on the grounds that it would be unjust and oppressive to extradite the Appellant because he is currently unfit to stand trial and is seriously mentally ill with paranoid schizophrenia, and thus the judge should have decided that extradition is barred by s 25 of the Extradition Act 2003."
  • 28/03/18 (4): Variation of Trusts Act case. ET v JP [2018] EWHC 685 (Ch) — "This judgment deals with one point which arose in the course of an application for the court's approval to a variation of a trust pursuant to the Variation of Trusts Act 1958. ... The way in which section 1 of the 1958 Act operates can be summarised as follows: (1) In the case of an adult beneficiary who has capacity within section 2(1) of the 2005 Act, the adult can decide for himself whether to agree to a proposed variation of a trust and the court has no power to give approval on his behalf; (2) In the case of an adult beneficiary who does not have capacity within section 2(1) of the 2005 Act to agree to the variation of a trust, the court has power to give approval on his behalf but the question as to whether the variation is for his benefit is decided by the Court of Protection rather than by the High Court; (3) In the case of a minor beneficiary, the minor does not have capacity (by reason of being a minor) to decide for himself whether to agree a proposed variation of a trust and the court has power to give approval on his behalf. The question then arises: what is the position of a minor beneficiary who, by reason of an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain would not have capacity for the purposes of section 2(1) of the 2005 Act to make decisions for himself in relation to certain matters? Is such a minor within section 1(3) of the 1958 Act so that the question as to whether a variation of a trust would be for his benefit is to be determined by the Court of Protection rather than by the High Court? If that question had to be referred to the Court of Protection and that court determined that the variation was for the benefit of the minor, the matter would then have to return to the High Court for it to give its approval to the variation under section 1 of the 1958 Act."
  • 28/03/18 (3): HIV treatment case. Re AB [2016] EWCOP 66 — "I am asked to, and I do approve, a treatment regime for AB, which involves the administration of medication to her on a basis of deception. Not merely passive deception, which, to use a legal phrase might be characterised as suppressio veri, but active deception, which lawyers might describe as suggestio falsi. It is debateable whether there is in fact much moral difference between the two types of deception, but what is being proposed here is a treatment regime, an administration of medication, on the basis of active deception of AB. I only have to state this for the unusual nature of the case to be revealed, but the circumstances in which these facts arise demonstrate that such a course is manifestly required in the best interests of AB, notwithstanding that her personal wishes and feelings would be entirely contrary to the course that is going to ensue. AB is infected with HIV. ... The order will provide, however, that if the truth emerges to AB and she moves to a position of active resistance then the matter will have to be reviewed, and the Court will have to consider, in that situation, whether to move to forced administration of these drugs, which would be a very difficult decision to make, because it would not be a one-off administration of treatment, but would be a quotidian administration of treatment, which is a very different state of affairs to that which is normally encountered in this Court."§
  • 28/03/18 (3): Nerve agent case. SSHD v Skripal [2018] EWCOP 6 — "On 4 March 2018 Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were admitted to hospital in Salisbury. Tests carried out by Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down concluded that they had been exposed to a nerve agent. Both Mr and Ms Skripal remain in hospital under heavy sedation. The precise effect of their exposure on their long term health remains unclear albeit medical tests indicate that their mental capacity might be compromised to an unknown and so far unascertained degree. The fact of their exposure to a nerve agent has already had significant consequences on the wider domestic and international stage which I need not go into for the purposes of this judgment. However central to the application before me is the fact that on 14 and 16 March 2018 the UK government issued a formal invitation to the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to send a team of experts to the United Kingdom 'to assist in the technical evaluation of unscheduled chemicals in accordance with Article VIII 38(e).' This in effect is to independently verify the analysis carried out by Porton Down. In order to conduct their enquiries the OPCW wish to: (i) Collect fresh blood samples from Mr and Ms Skripal to (a) undertake their own analysis in relation to evidence of nerve agents, (b) conduct DNA analysis to confirm the samples originally tested by Porton Down are from Mr and Ms Skripal; (ii) Analyse the medical records of Mr and Ms Skripal setting out their treatment since 4 March 2018; (iii) Re-test the samples already analysed by Porton Down. Because Mr Skripal and Ms Skripal are unconscious and neither are in a position to consent to the taking of further blood samples for these purposes or to the disclosure of their medical records Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust have quite properly confirmed to the UK Government that a court order would be required to authorise (a) and (b) above."
  • 28/03/18 (2): Sentence appeal case. R v Edwards [2018] EWCA Crim 595These four cases were listed before the court to consider issues arising from the sentencing of mentally ill offenders to indeterminate terms of imprisonment. (1) Comparison of release regimes under s.37/41 and s.45A. (2) Rules governing applications to this court to advance new grounds or fresh evidence. (3) General principles: "Finally, to assist those representing and sentencing offenders with mental health problems that may justify a hospital order, a finding of dangerousness and/or a s.45A order, we summarise the following principles we have extracted from the statutory framework and the case law. (i) The first step is to consider whether a hospital order may be appropriate. (ii) If so, the judge should then consider all his sentencing options including a s.45A order. (iii) In deciding on the most suitable disposal the judge should remind him or herself of the importance of the penal element in a sentence. (iv) To decide whether a penal element to the sentence is necessary the judge should assess (as best he or she can) the offender’s culpability and the harm caused by the offence. The fact that an offender would not have committed the offence but for their mental illness does not necessarily relieve them of all responsibility for their actions. (v) A failure to take prescribed medication is not necessarily a culpable omission; it may be attributable in whole or in part to the offender’s mental illness. (vi) If the judge decides to impose a hospital order under s.37/41, he or she must explain why a penal element is not appropriate. (vii) The regimes on release of an offender on licence from a s.45A order and for an offender subject to s.37/41 orders are different but the latter do not necessarily offer a greater protection to the public, as may have been assumed in Ahmed and/or or by the parties in the cases before us. Each case turns on its own facts. (viii) If an offender wishes to call fresh psychiatric evidence in his appeal against sentence to support a challenge to a hospital order, a finding of dangerousness or a s45A order he or she should lodge a s.23 application. If the evidence is the same as was called before the sentencing judge the court is unlikely to receive it. (ix) Grounds of appeal should identify with care each of the grounds the offender wishes to advance. If an applicant or appellant wishes to add grounds not considered by the single judge an application to vary should be made." (4) The court considered the individual appeals/application, noting that it is appellate not a review court and that the question is whether the sentence imposed was manifestly excessive or wrong in principle.
  • 19/03/18 (2): COP case. Re SW (No 2) [2017] EWCOP 30 — "This is another utterly misconceived application by a son (the son) in relation to his mother, SW. ... The son's application as it was presented to the District Judge was, in my judgment, totally without merit, misconceived and vexatious. His application under Rule 89 is equally devoid of merit. It must be dismissed, with the consequence that the District Judge's order striking out the original application remains in place."
  • 19/03/18 (1): Protective measure case. Re JMK [2018] EWCOP 5 — "The application before the Court is for an order to recognise a Canadian Power of Attorney pursuant to Schedule 3 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The issue for determination is whether such an instrument amounts to 'a protective measure' for the purposes of Schedule 3."
  • 12/03/18 (1): COP bias case. Re M: A v Z [2018] EWCOP 4 — "This matter concerns an appeal from the order of HHJ Roberts made on 18 July 2018 in Court of Protection (COP) proceedings concerning M. The appellants are M's mother and father in law who have the care of X, M's son age 12. ... Mr Simblet relies on four grounds of appeal: (1) There was apparent bias, in that the judge stated her intention in the exchange between the judge and the legal representatives, in the absence of the parties, to decide the application consistent with decisions made in different proceedings. (2) The judge wrongly felt constrained to reach a decision that would be consistent with a decision she had reached in different proceedings. (3) There was a material irregularity, in that the Judge took into account material from different proceedings, and the [paternal grandparents] within the COP proceedings were unable to properly know the case against them or that they had to meet. (4) In reaching her decision the judge failed to identify or give sufficient weight to factors that were relevant to M's best interests."
  • 08/03/18 (2): COP case. Re M: AB v HT [2018] EWCOP 2 — "These complex and difficult proceedings in the Court of Protection concern a 37-year-old woman, hereafter referred to as M, who (as I have found, for reasons set out below) at present lacks capacity by virtue of a combination of psychotic illness and acquired brain injury. The parties to the proceedings are the applicant, M's father, hereafter referred to as AB; her aunt, hereafter referred to as HT; the local authority for the area where HT, and currently M, live, namely the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham; and a man hereafter referred to as MS, with whom M went through a religious ceremony of marriage in 2013. A dispute has arisen concerning a number of issues about her past, present and future which has necessitated a lengthy and unusual fact-finding hearing. This judgment sets out my conclusions on the disputed matters of fact, together with an analysis as to her capacity, and orders made following my findings."