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|AM (Afghanistan) v SSHD (2017) EWCA Civ 1123||Immigration tribunal - fair hearing, litigation friends||In this judgment the Court of Appeal gave guidance on the general approach to be adopted in FTT and UT immigration and asylum cases to the fair determination of claims for asylum from children, young people and other incapacitated or vulnerable persons whose ability to effectively participate in proceedings may be limited. In relation to litigation friends, despite there being no provision in the tribunal rules for litigation friends, the court decided that: "[T]here is ample flexibility in the tribunal rules to permit a tribunal to appoint a litigation friend in the rare circumstance that the child or incapacitated adult would not be able to represent him/herself and obtain effective access to justice without such a step being taken. In the alternative, even if the tribunal rules are not broad enough to confer that power, the overriding objective in the context of natural justice requires the same conclusion to be reached."|
|DB (as executor of the estate of OE) v SSWP (2018) UKUT 46 (AAC)||Social security appointeeship||"The main grievance of Mr B, who brings this appeal in his capacity as executor of his late Aunt Miss E’s estate, is the Secretary of State’s decision to make Birmingham City Council Miss E’s social security appointee. When the council were made Miss E’s appointee, Mr B held an enduring power of attorney authorising him to deal with her financial affairs. Appointment decisions do not attract a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. Neither that tribunal, nor the Upper Tribunal, has jurisdiction to entertain an ‘appeal’ against an appointment decision. However, I do have some concerns about the way in which the council’s appointment application was handled. I decide to express some views on that subject. My purpose in simply to provide some assistance to the DWP and local authorities in their efforts to operate the appointee system effectively and properly."|
|Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust v X (2019) EWCOP 35||Pregnancy - OS out-of-hours representation||(1) Official Solicitor's lack of out-of-hours service: "... I invite the Official Solicitor to urgently review this position and consider putting in place arrangements that will ensure appropriate representation out of normal court hours for those individuals who are the subject of urgent applications that potentially involve serious medical treatment. ... [E]very effort must be made to issue such applications during normal court hours." (2) Pregnancy: "Having considered the submissions of the parties there is, in my judgment, in accordance with s 48 Mental Capacity Act 2005, reason to believe that X lacks capacity in relation to the matter, namely the medical intervention that may be necessary for X to give birth to a baby who is safe and well. On the evidence the court has from Dr Y, which I accept, his assessment is X is unable to reconcile her conflicting beliefs (on the one hand of wanting a natural birth and also wanting a live, well and safely born baby) in a way that she is able to balance the pros and cons. Additionally, there is, in my judgment, a real risk the position is unlikely to change and is more likely to deteriorate. He concluded X showed limited insight in relation to her previous mental ill- health. I have carefully considered the submissions on behalf of the Official Solicitor regarding capacity but looking at all the evidence and information available to the court I am satisfied the interim declaration should be made."|
|JG v Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (2019) UKUT 187 (AAC)||Non-legal research by judge||Judicial summary from gov.uk website: "Mental Health First-tier Tribunal - Judicial Bias - Apparent bias - Breach of Natural Justice - Procedural Irregularity. Where a First-tier Tribunal judge undertook non-legal research by accessing a court of appeal judgment in respect of the appellant, did this lead to a presumption of bias and automatic disqualification? Did it lead to a conclusion of a real possibility of bias? Whether so doing amounts to a procedural irregularity leading to a breach of natural justice in that it rendered the hearing unfair. In the circumstances appertaining there can be no presumption of bias leading to automatic disqualification. On the facts of the case there was no real possibility of bias. Undertaking the non-legal research was a procedural irregularity but on the facts the hearing was not unfair."|
|Jhuti v Royal Mail Group Ltd (Practice and Procedure) (2017) UKEAT 0062/17||Litigation friend under employment tribunal rules||Summary 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."|
|R (JS) v SSHD (2019) UKUT 64 (IAC)||Litigation friends for children in immigration tribunal proceedings||The Upper Tribunal provided mainly age-based guidance on whether a child applicant in immigration proceedings requires a litigation friend, and on the role of the litigation friend.|
|Re M: A v Z (2018) EWCOP 4||COP bias||"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."|
|RH v SSWP (2018) UKUT 48 (AAC)||Appointeeship, independent appeals, litigation friends||AACR headnote: "Appointment to act - whether claimant with appointee precluded from bringing an appeal independently - whether First-tier Tribunal having power to appoint a litigation friend"|