Why is the Court of Protection Secret ?

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Court of Protection lawyers,warn,that even with ‘watertight’ reporting restrictions, anonymity of those subject to proceedings cannot always be guaranteed.

They say that although transparency was important, ‘there is a price to be paid’.

But, is it in lawyers interests to say this, and what is this price?

And, more crucially, what is the price paid for secrecy, and, is secrecy necessary, and where does it leave accountability ?

See the  £3 billion haul COP had already amassed in 2009

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/136252/Anger-at-3bn-haul-of-Labour-s-secret-court

Read the power to imprison loving sister for 7 weeks until released by court of appeal. This is COP 2017

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4221348/Court-jailed-pensioner-banned-talking.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

Lord Falconer, creator of the Mental Capacity Act, proposed its hearings be in public.

But, after ‘consultations’ not including the media, with 27 respondents, 11 for public hearings and 10 against, the Court of Protection Rules 2007 closed the court.

http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/wccop/files/2015/04/Transparency-in-the-Court-of-Protection-Report.pdf

A Daily Mail campaign, scandals exposure and the  COP being  even more secretive than the care courts, forced a six month, court opt out ,media transparency pilot scheme .

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications/transparency-pilot-court-of-protection/

From a fundamental perspective, as the right to privacy is personal, it is of concern that the state takes it upon themselves to exercise a citizen’s personal right.

Ignoring what they want or is really in their best interests.

As the MCA via the Court of Protection has made the state omnipotent .

It, can decide if a citizen wants to be processed in secret, along with all his other decisions.

Understandably, a person, might not  want their predicament, financial and family business publically known.

And this was the justification for secrecy in non-contentious, property and financial applications..

Bur, whilst, health and welfare applications under the old High Court’s inherent jurisdiction were rare; under the MCA, they have overtaken non contentious property applications,, with 438 welfare applications in 2013/14, and 413 property and finance, and 31 disputes over Deputyships.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/411069/Official_Solicitor_and_Public_Trustee_annual_report_2013_to_2014.pdf

But welfare applications, in contrast to the fait accompli property applications are highly contentious.

If they were not, the Local Authorities, and Health and Social Care Trusts, would not need to apply for them.

And, welfare applications, allow state agencies, to remove a person’s autonomy for life.

And,  to enforce all social and medical services, now in a private residential homes for life.

So effective, fair opposition from family members, and, the ‘incapable’ must be allowed.

Also, as these applications, are intrinsically oppositional, the inquisitorial nature of the Court of Protection, is wholly  inappropriate, and open to abuse.

As few, if any, fact finding hearing are held, so allegations of neglect/abuse need not be proved.

And  a huge disparity of equality  exists between the state and individual.

As the procedure, and law are complicated.

And, effectively, no legal aid is available to families, who are  forced to act as litigants in person, and, can even be threatened with the other parties costs.

Yet, they are the only independent voice, pitted, against three specialist barristers, the Official Solicitor appointed by the state to represent the incapable, the Local Authority and the Health and Social Care Trust .

The Court of Protection, itself, is underfunded, and clogged up.

And, at the same time the LIP, will be coping with the emotional horror of having no control over what happens to their loved one, and, caring for them.

And, dealing with endless assessments, and professional meetings.

So parents are faced with an impossible Herculean feat,  anything but fair., which calls for the utmost transparency of process, not the least.

Particularly, as the court system per se, allows scant accountability .

Despite all this, COP proceedings are deemed fair, and, Human Rights Act s 6 compliant.

The scandals, that gave rise to the pilot of the ‘opening up’ of COP, will still occur, but will now remain hidden.

Steven Neary’s plight ,was exceptional, as his detention and treatment was already in the public domain.

The gagged imprisoned granny, and daughter, will still be gagged and imprisoned, but in their presence.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3061733/Secret-courts-opened-Court-Protection-placed-public-scrutiny-major-legal-report-warns.html

And, Paula Rawnsley would still be gagged, to protect Thomas Rawnsley’s privacy, and future care

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3918716/Grandmother-jailed-secret-court-refusing-remove-man-care-home-freed-six-weeks-prison.html.

 

 

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27 Comments

    1. This statement is absolute crap. She needs to stand in the Court of Protection for just 60 seconds to realize that not one member of the judiciary has the faintest notion of human rights – or even the right to exist. They seek to annihilate and usually succeed

      Reply

    2. Is that why they are intent on abolishing them ?

      All media, appears now to have become totally disconnected from reality. And is PR manipulation/ propaganda.

      And, as the public feel they can do nothing about it, most have to become wilfully blind/deluded, and, some are doing very well out of the system.

      Reply

  1. Finola every time you get it right.

    In July 2014 inthe Court of Protection Mr Justice Charles (judgment in the public domain) stated that all his judgment should be made public.

    I was not in Court. The Official Solicitor, acting as Martin’s litigation friend ! stated that Martin would not want his name to be made public.

    The OS had never exchanges a single word with Martin, who wants nothing more than for everybody to know that he wants to live in his own home,bought by me. He has also known that everybody who has contact with him MUST know about his epilepsy for his own safety. He has to carry an epilepsy medical card on him with details of all his seizures, meds, etc. I think this sums it all up.

    Also you are right about the CoP originally only covering property and finances. I hold an EPA from 2000 to cover that. When Martin’s capacity was first called into question in 2005 I complained to the OS that the form only covered finances and property. Incidentally as a lawyer you might be interested in that I also hold a general power of attorney

    Reply

  2. As you say, it is a simple modus for profit and control.

    Since 2005, affairs, that were handled by a parent , daughter, or next of kin, as a vulnerable person wanted and, as clearly was, in their best interests, much better than the now unchecked, all for profit state ‘care’, have been hijacked by the Court of Protection.

    Before, everything was kept personal, and out of the reach of the state, by Enduring Powers of Attorney, introduced as an addition to normal ones in 1987, to enable another person, to act on a persons behalf, should they become incapable for whatever reason for whatever period, safeguards were in place for abuse, by the need to notify the Public Guardianship Office, and named people, that had been nominated by the vulnerable person, of that person’s incapacity.

    How much easier is that, than the procedures now ,

    How much cheaper, no courts, except in exceptional circumstances , no lawyers, no publicity, and personal family autonomy.

    It is still thank God, the position in Northern Ireland, although they are pushing for MCA.

    Now, such enduring powers of attorney have been replaced by MCA with Lasting Powers of Attorney.

    These are being revoked, on a declaration of incapacity by the COP, and the family member, replaced by the state.

    All signed POAs, are being deemed void, on a retrospective, illegal basis, as laws cannot be interpreted retrospectively, and everyone is presumed capable, until proved otherwise as prescribed by the MCA,

    Deputyships cost a fortune, and appear rarely given, and they are reviewed and fees paid, so the state can always pounce, you also need approval of that state to get one, and this approval needs to continue.

    So the state, has now taken over the ‘vulnerable’s lives, and can enforce any care including medical.

    Experiment on them, as they want, and even, if you read the regulations use their body parts on death

    They have been made the ultimate commodities in secret, without the public, or even Parliament knowing the real intention of the Act.

    And, their numbers are increasing, and with the Altzeimer push, must now be over a million.

    That’s a lot of citizens and families with no rights, and a lot of income potential. .

    Reply

  3. EPA Martin made an EPA in 2000. All his benefits were paid into his bank account,plus cheques etc. As innumerable people were trying to access the account, we agreed his benefits should be paid into an account in my name, and I allowed him £20 a week regularly, anything else we negotiated, so he could budget. He has a Visa debit card, which he uses on line. When he moved to Cardiff in 2008 I sent the DWP a valid copy of the EPA. The LA and bank also hold this. In 2014 March I received from the DWP a cancellation of my appointeeship, as I had not paid Martin’s residential fees, according to the LA. I pointed out that I was attorney and not appointee, and was ignored. The LA had stated, and have always stated thet Martin is eligible for continuing health care, while the NHS argued this. While the argument continued I withheld the £80 a week contribution to residential care fees. When I received the cancellation of “appointeeship” I immediately paid the £22,OOO owing (?) to the LA. Now 2 years later, the LA have all Martin’s benefits paid into their account, and Martin has contributed £35,000 to his residential care fees. Both the DWP and LA state they have irrefutable evidence that I mismanaged Martin’s affairs, and will not retract the appointeeship. The LA has failed to pay Martins lower mobility benefit into his account, and owe him about £1500. The fees at the residential care home are £2,400 a week, owing to Martin’s “complex needs”. Next week there is a continuing care assessment, the first since 2007. This is the story of corruption. The LA also insist that legally Martin lacks capacity to manage his finances and property. This is the story of corruption.

    Reply

  4. As your authority, arises from an Enduring Power of Attorney, it can only be revoked by the Public Guardian Ship office, usually on a court order , this has not happened.

    Just to tick their boxes, I know practically it makes no difference, I would have opened a trust account, rather than a personal one, in Martin’s name to pay money in, this technicality, is probably what they are using as ‘evidence’ of mismanagement, it is not, and in any event they need PGO to set aside.

    Martin is entitled as of right, as far as I am aware, regardless of his private means, to receive government funding under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Act 1970, I assume this is obtained through a NHS continuing care assessment, but, if they assess, as not eligible, or an inadequate amount, then you can sue them in the County court, if you can get a lawyer, expert, and risk other sides costs, if you do not get a prescriptive costs order limiting them, which is unlikely .

    So let us unravel, what appears to be the corruption, and, happening to the disabled’s funding.

    Basic Rule the ‘disabled’, and their family are entitled to up to now 200,000 aprrox, from the government per year under statutory right- CSDA, this is split between education if under 25 now, social care and NHS. These discrete bodies are now under one umbrella – health and social care they assess each disabled for continuing health care .

    If a person is living in their family home it is rare, that they will get any, or just a low payment, unless severely physically disabled, as they will be assessed as such.

    But once they are placed into independent of family living, suddenly, their ‘support’ needs are assessed as huge, the test for learning ‘disability’ and its severity, is now on a person’s adeptive skills, based on amount of support they need. And, as we know, on average £3,500 + is paid per week, just for the learning disabled/ autistic, to a private provider , in addition, if a person is under 25 more is paid to ‘education’ packages.

    In addition all state benefits ie mobility, DLA will be paid to the private provider.

    And, all commissioning of the services, for this very lucrative gravy train for life, is commissioned and policed, with no transparency by the Health and Social Care Trusts.

    Yes Shirley, a recipe for corruption, and mega bucks for a lot of players, at the cost of the families and service users rights, heartbreak, freedom and misery.

    Reply

  5. finola you are brilliant. I’ve actually get a discretionary trust fund for Martin, but I never thought of having the benefits paid into that. They cant revoke the EPA because I haven’t registered it, as Martin has capacity! The LA made up the evidence – just blatant lies as usual – but they refuse to revoke it. Tried a lawyer for a judicial review – that was a laugh. I would like to try a judicial review in Martin’s name as a litigant in person, but the Court of Protection is just waiting to get me there and then go in and destroy me. Yes corruption.

    Reply

  6. I’m glad you found it of use.

    We have a huge problem of deliberate deceit, misinformation, spin from the agents of the state, lawyers- PR, everyone.

    They have been honed in the Assassin’s Creed- all can be done to achieve their purpose, and truth is irrelevant.

    It is, therefore, very difficult to get the correct information about anything ie the truth, and we need it, so we are not lynched, and conned for use as profitable commodities, to whom public duties are breached, and worse still, used to make huge private profit.

    But, armed with such information, we still do not have systems – court, lawyers, experts, LAs willing, or able to use it, as they all act in a cabal.

    Little hope now with any judicial review per se legally, as Grayling MOJ, have made them now virtually impossible, so there is now no mechanism to hold the state to account- unless they want you to, for their own purposes.

    Despite this continuing horror,l hope you and Martin have a good weekend.

    Reply

    1. You certainly haven’t let them, and you have been fighting for at least a decade longer than me,

      You have my greatest admiration, butt wish, as you do, you’d never had to.

      Best Wishes, Finola

      Reply

  7. Martin has just returned from a trip ALONE to the local fish and chip shop for a take away (saveloy and chips £3 paid for it himself) under a DoLs. “Allowed” to do this every other weekend. “Allowed” to go to the village ALONE under the Dols. Again I despair

    Reply

    1. It really is unbelievable that in UK 2016 this is happening in secret and no one knows.

      Unaccountable services are able to charge what they like and do what they like and no one can complain.

      What Crime have you and Martin and some now must be nearing a million have committed to be imprisoned for life in this way.

      It can happen to anyone- a child goes to a state school teaching is poor, they are blamed/labelled learning disabled, at 6/7 school gets more money, they get a ECHS the social services GPs weigh in, the family is invaded, disorders diagnosed , medication indirectly enforced through threat of care order, and at 16, no school just education package for independent away from home living, and then removal at 18 for life – no spouse, no children, at the mercy of the whim of any care worker expert for life and in secret.

      Quite astonishing ………

      What other country could this happen in ? It is so so unbelievable, and the press know it is happening, as do the judiciary

      And, it is such a beautiful evening, you and Martin, as mother and son, should be having tea out, and walking in the park How many DOLs etc would that take, and you would have to have the embarrassment of a minder worker……………..

      And think of the fortune Martin is paying and you as a tax payer for such an existence. .
      /

      Reply

  8. I can account forwhat has happened to the £l,000,000 that has been paid by the LA to the provider over the last 8 years, and not one penny has gone for Martin’s care. And the £750,000 spent in the previous 3 years. The criminal courts would have to prosecute. The LA began to question the provider regarding this, asked for evidence (I have this recorded in writing) and then abandoned the case two years ago. On Tuesday there is a Cont. Health Care review (last one 2007) which the LA is supposed to be reviewing. I am fightin to try to get a doctor to attend the review – any doctor. Martin has a new social worker who is attending – she has never even met Martin. God help us

    Reply

    1. How can the LA, possibly review it adequately, or even at all, if they have commissioned the service they are reviewing ?

      As, If they do review it as in anyway inadequate, they are opening themselves up to a legal action by you, as Martin’s next friend.

      This is the huge elephant in the room of state care, which is the only Adult Service now for all deemed ‘disabled’.

      This, together with the corporate ethos of self protection/preservation, cannot ensure adequate safeguarding let alone, a service worth the money paid.

      And, you/ as will any family member, will have great difficulty, finding an independent GP /expert ,willing from a career perspective to take on this cabal.

      Best of…………… would say British, but seems inappropriate under circumstances. But hope you can get somewhere at the review.

      But what you suffer, just to help your own son, and allow him to obtain the services he is paying so much for.

      Best Wishes,
      Finola

      Reply

  9. Not a hope of taking legal action or any action of any kind. No lawyer, no barrister, no advocate no IMCA, only me. Way way back I had an independent witness, Martin’s previous consultant, made a perfect witness statement, given to the Court, it disappeared (we’ve heard that one before, haven’t we) brought if back to the Court, included in the Order, disappeared again for ever (except for my medical files).

    Reply

    1. Its called Totalitarianism.

      We have totalist ‘justice’, which complies with neither s6 Right to a Fair Trial, nor s8 Right to a Family Life.

      Nor, even the MCA.

      But of course, IS, big on the use of Privacy under s8 to hide behind.

      So, what a wonderful position for privatised monopoly services

      And, what a terrible blow, for individual freedom, separation of powers, and the rule of law, that the UK keep promoting throughout the world.

      Reply

  10. LA just informed me that it is not in Martin’s best interests for me to be his RPR – they have appointed a paid RPR same as last year and the year before. He didnt contact Martin for months on end, and didn’t attend reviews.Let alone have any idea what epilepsy is.

    Reply

    1. Relevant Personal Representatives, appears yet again, to be another tick box to nothing, like IMCAs,with a named role, but no measure of the role substantively, or its effectiveness, as you show in this comment.

      How do you take all these blows, ?????? but you have no option.

      They are even finding it hard to find RPRs through shttp://www.communitycare.co.uk/2015/06/10/deprivation-liberty-court-ruling-leaves-councils-struggling-find-representatives-people-lacking-capacity/
      supposed lack of funding, see community care article.

      But then, even if they did, looks like it just another gravy train on the back of the MCA encaged cash cow.

      So, if this RPR is replacing a loving parent, and doing nothing what can you do ?

      Reply

  11. Vice President of CoP Mr Justice Charles stated that family should be RPRs. IMCAs are a laugh. Tick box after tick box – you are right. Again all I can say is God help us, or, more to the point fuck the bastards. Thanks for all the sympathy and understanding. It really helps

    Reply

    1. It not even, or just sympathy and understanding, it is outrage, at the way you have now been treated, for over a decade, and, how your position, despite your fighting for Martin’s rights/ welfare, every day, with, or without costly legal ‘help’, is ever worsening.

      A mother’s love lasts forever, and should matter, be listened to, and respected.

      Best Wishes and thank you for your very illuminating comments.

      Finola

      Reply

  12. And outrage for Martin.. Meeting today – cont.health care nurses – total strangers, rpr – total strangers – Martin’ care manager – total stranger – home manager – not competent in this capacity – and Martin. Yesterday he was functioning well, full capacity. Clinical director from the home will not attend according to Martin. I dreamt I was a lawyer dedicated to helping the vulnerable (“To kill a Mocking Bird”) Ha ha – dream on. AND Southern Health have cancelled the meeting today for legal reasons

    Reply

  13. The horror of a continued bureaucratic, superfluous process charading as ‘care’, and justifying…. millions.

    An itinerant sea of titles RPR, CHN, and their managers.

    All doing nothing, all unregulated, all being paid by you, and Martin.

    All have or need nothing except power.

    This is the modus for all public services.

    A known epileptic, unsupervised for hours in a bath drowns, in the same bath, as a previous resident 6 years before, and that is not foreseeable, liability cannot/will not/does not need to be be admitted, even after a jury points out the obvious.

    Yet still today £4,000 per a week paid by the tax payer for this service, and similar throughout the country be in public or private.

    Why all this, because, they can get away with it.

    We are now ruled by the corruption of Hillsborough, it is exposed, but now the standard modus.

    Whose capacity does not fluctuate, we all have to sleep.

    Such nonsense, can justify anything. Once you are targeted, as a potential cash cow, there is no hope.

    Don’t know how you stick it. But you and Martin are trapped as are now millions and it will only worsen.

    The love of money is the root of all evil.

    Reply

  14. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    “And, at the same time the LIP, will be coping with the emotional horror of having no control over what happens to their loved one, and, caring for them.

    And, dealing with endless assessments, and professional meetings.

    So parents are faced with an impossible Herculean feat, anything but fair., which calls for the utmost transparency of process, not the least.

    Particularly, as the court system per se, allows scant accountability .

    Despite all this, COP proceedings are deemed fair, and, Human Rights Act s 6 compliant.”

    Reply

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