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December 2009 chronology

See December 2009 update for a summary of these changes.

  • 29/12/09: The December 2009 CPD questionnaire is now available, as are the questionnaires for the previous 12 months. Multiple-choice tests are published monthly, stay online for 12 months, and can be taken at any time. See CPD scheme for details
  • 29/12/09: On 24/12/09 the Dept of Health issued guidance on the completion of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards data collation sheet. See DH
  • 23/12/09: LSC news item: "2010 civil contract: arrangements for billing of disbursements 22-12-2009". When the new contract starts in October 2010, mental health firms will be able to apply for interim payments of disbursements (excluding counsel's fees) where six months have elapsed since (a) the start of the matter and (b) any previous interim payment application. Paragraph 9.50 of the MH specification has been amended accordingly. See Legal Aid
  • 23/12/09: New case added (after-care, 22/12/09). R (Stojak) v Sheffield City Council [2009] EWHC 3412 (Admin)Extension of time refused for JR application relating to charging for residential after-care services.§
  • 23/12/09: Case summary added (inquests, 21/12/09). R (Lewis) v HM Coroner for the Mid and North Division of the County of Shropshire [2009] EWCA Civ 1403A coroner is not obliged to leave to the jury a fact or circumstance which could have caused or contributed to the death but cannot be shown probably to have done so. §
  • 23/12/09: Case summary added (inquests, 18/12/09). R (P) v HM Coroner for the District of Avon [2009] EWCA Civ 1367In this inquest to which Article 2 applied (suicide in prison) the Deputy Coroner misdirected the jury because she did not properly explain to them that, if they returned a verdict of suicide or accident, they could also append a narrative about the circumstances of the accident. However, in the circumstances, the verdict was not quashed.§
  • 23/12/09: Case summary added (prison law, 18/12/09). R (Johnson) v SSJ [2009] EWHC 3336 (Admin)The Secretary of State's decision that the next Parole Board review would occur 14-15 months after the last review was unsupported by any reason and, on the facts, inconsistent with Article 5(4).§
  • 23/12/09: Case summary added (community care, 6/11/09). R (Manchester City Council) v St Helens Borough Council [2009] EWCA Civ 1348PE had voluntarily moved from St Helens to Manchester and, following the Secretary of State's decision that she was now ordinarily resident there, St Helens decided to stop funding her community care services. (1) Under s29 National Assistance Act 1948 a local authority is under a duty to provide services to those ordinarily resident in its area. (2) St Helens had a power to pay but the exercise of this power did not give rise to a duty or negate Manchester's duty, or give rise to any legitimate expectation.§
  • 23/12/09: The Dept of Health have published today "The second year of the Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy Service: 2008/2009". See IMCA
  • 23/12/09: DH list of supervisory bodies updated again on 18/12/09. See DOLS
  • 23/12/09: "MCA update" 18/12/09 email text added. See OPG
  • 23/12/09: MoJ consultation added: "Office of the Public Guardian: Amendments to secondary legislation" (17/12/09 to 9/3/10). See Consultations
  • 17/12/09: Case summary added (DOL). Salford City Council v BJ [2009] EWHC 3310 (Fam)Following a final hearing concerning deprivation of liberty the previous year, the judge now had to determine: (a) the nature and timing of future reviews by the court, (b) the nature and timing of future internal reviews by the local authority, and (c) whether the proceedings should now be transferred to the Court of Protection.§
  • 17/12/09: CLS News today "LSC outlines actions following NAO report". Following a slating by the National Audit Office, the LSC have written to all firms. Of relevance to mental health law: on audit, in certain circumstances, they had allowed 2 hours' work without evidence of entitlement, but this practice will cease; firms with high numbers of split cases and multiple matter starts for a single client will be investigated with a view to the recovery of cash; and a reminder was given of the general duties of keeping records to justify claims. See Legal Aid#CLS News
  • 17/12/09: CLS News 16/12/09 "Civil case management - change in contact details". From February 2010, the phone number for all urgent enquiries about civil certificated work is 0300 200 2020; email or post should be used for non-urgent enquiries (legal-enquiries@legalservices.gov.uk for civil legal, finance-enquiries@legalservices.gov.uk for finance, means-enquiries for means queries). See Legal Aid#CLS News
  • 15/12/09: Case summary added (LPA). Re Kittle (2009) COP 1/12/09Regulation 8(3) of the LPA, EPA and PG Regulations 2007 sets out categories of persons who cannot act as certificate provider. Included in the list is "a family member" of the donor or of the attorney (or of the owner, director, manager or employee of any care home in which the donor is living when the instrument is executed). In this case the certificate provider was the donor's first cousin. The Public Guardian declined to register the instrument on the ground that a first cousin was a family member of the donor. The court ruled that a first cousin is not a family member, and so the LPA was valid. [OPG summary.]§
  • 15/12/09: Case summary added (LPA). Re Clarke (2009) COP 18/11/09The donor appointed three attorneys, A (his wife), B, and C, to be his attorneys. They were appointed to act jointly in some matters and jointly and severally in others. He then stated that the attorneys were to act together for transactions not exceeding £5,000 "but together in respect of all other decisions subject to my wife A's opinion prevailing in the event that my attorneys are not unanimous in any decision involving property or expenditure exceeding £5,000". On the application of the Public Guardian, the words "subject to my wife A's opinion" onwards were severed on the ground that they purported to facilitate one of the three attorneys being able to act independently in relation to matters that had been specified as subject to the joint decision of the attorneys. [OPG summary.]§
  • 14/12/09: Case summary added (capacity). Re Allen (2009) COP 21/7/09Under MCA 2005 s4(7) any best interests decision-maker "must take into account, if it is practicable and appropriate to consult them, the views of" various categories of individuals. Where any attempt at consultation will inevitably be unduly onerous, futile, or serve no useful purpose, it cannot be in P’s best interests, and it would be neither practicable nor appropriate to embark on that process in the first place.§
  • 14/12/09: An updated version of "A Practitioner's Guide to Court of Protection Property Procedures" is now available on the OPG website. See Court of Protection
  • 14/12/09: Case summary added (disability discrimination). R (Domb) v London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham [2009] EWCA Civ 941The council's decision to make charges for non-residential home care services provided pursuant to the Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudications Act 1983 was challenged (unsuccessfully) on the basis that the council did not have "due regard" to its general equality duties.§
  • 14/12/09: Case summary added (disability discrimination). Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police v Caston [2009] EWCA Civ 1298The employment judge had permitted an out-of-time DDA claim to proceed; he was entitled to exercise his discretion (on whether, in all the circumstances of the case, he considered that it was just and equitable to do so) as he did.§
  • 09/12/09: Case summary added (quantum). R (Miller) v Independent Assessor [2009] EWCA Civ 609The Independent Assessor must have erred in law by failing to make proper use of the civil law awards, because without much explanation he arrived at an award which is irrationally low (namely £55,000 for over 4 years' detention following wrongful conviction for murder).§
  • 09/12/09: Case transcript added (Southern Irish). C v Clinical Director of St Patricks Hospital (2009) IEHC 13 — This is an application on behalf of the applicant for a declaration that the applicant is unlawfully detained by the first respondent contrary to Article 40.4 of the Constitution. The essence of the applicant’s case is that prior to her arrival at the respondent’s hospital, she was initially detained by the gardaí and unlawfully removed to the hospital by them. The applicant argues that this alleged unlawful detention by the gardaí, has tainted the subsequent detention by the respondents even though, by and large, apart from this initial reception the respondents have meticulously followed the proper procedures for dealing with such persons as set out in the legislation and the Mental Health Act 2001 in particular. [Summary required.]§
  • 07/12/09: The DH's supervisory body contact lists were updated again on 4/12/09. See DOLS
  • 07/12/09: Case summary added (Tribunals). R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal [2009] EWHC 3052 (Admin)(1) Decisions of inferior courts are subject to judicial review for exceeding their jurisdiction. Excess of jurisdiction can mean either the court (a) embarks on a case beyond its statutory remit, or (b) makes a legal mistake. (2) Judicial review of the Upper Tribunal is not ousted by s3 TCEA 2007. (3) The UT is, for the relevant purposes, an alter ego of the High Court, and it would never be right to exercise the JR jurisdiction on the ground that it had made a legal mistake. (4) Decisions of the UT are only amenable to JR for excess of jurisdiction or where there is a wholly exceptional collapse of fair procedure (something as gross as actual bias). (5) Consideration was also given to the status of SIAC decisions. [Caution.]§
  • 07/12/09: Case summary added (Misc). AB v Nugent Care Society [2009] EWCA Civ 827In these appeals, arising from allegations of historic sexual abuse at children's homes, guidance was given on the correct approach to the application of s33 Limitation Act 1980 in the light of A v Hoare [2008] UKHL 6!.§
  • 07/12/09: This month the LSC have updated their "Where work is processed" document. The old one has been removed from their website so it is not immediately clear what has changed. See Legal Aid#Where work is processed
  • 07/12/09: In December 2009 "New Horizons" was launched, with politicians' photos, jargon, and it own section on the Dept of Health website. See Dept of Health
  • 07/12/09: The Law Commission's consultation document on reform of adult social care law is due to be published in February 2010. See Law Commission for link to Gazette article
  • 06/12/09: Draft summary of GJ case added. Your comments are welcome before it is finalised. GJ v The Foundation Trust [2009] EWHC 2972 (Fam)(1) As between the MHA 1983 and the MCA 2005 Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, the MHA has primacy: professionals cannot pick and choose as they think fit. (2) In deciding whether P is within the scope of the MHA, the eligibility assessor must ask whether, in his own opinion, P could be detained under the MHA. (3) With respect to objections, what matters is whether P objects generally to what is proposed. (4) The correct overall approach for the eligibility assessor is to (a) look at the reality of the situation, rather than the words of the authorisation, (b) separate the mental treatment from the purely physical treatment, and (c) apply a "but for" test, i.e. whether, but for the physical treatment, P should be detained (and whether the only effective reason for detention is physical treatment); if "no" (and "yes", respectively) then P isn't ineligible for DOLS. (5) On the facts, but for his diabetes, P would not have been detainable, so he was not ineligible. It is worth reading the full summary page and the judgment.§
  • 04/12/09: Case summary added (Misc - s139). ‎Seal v UK 50330/07 [2009] ECHR 806
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  • 04/12/09: Case summary added (Deportation). ‎Anam v SSHD [2009] EWHC 2496 (Admin)
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  • 04/12/09: Case summary added (Misc - s136). ‎MS v UK 24527/08 [2009] ECHR 1762
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  • 04/12/09: Case summary added (Inquests). ‎Hurst v UK 42577/07 [2009] ECHR 1988
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Query: SELECT `Summary` AS `Summary` FROM `wm_cargo__Cases` WHERE `wm_cargo__Cases`.`_pageName`="‎Hurst v UK 42577/07 [2009] ECHR 1988" ORDER BY `Summary` LIMIT 100 Function: CargoSQLQuery::run Error: 1267 Illegal mix of collations (latin1_swedish_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,COERCIBLE) for operation '=' (dc2-mysql-02.kattare.com)

Query: SELECT `Summary` AS `Summary` FROM `wm_cargo__Cases` WHERE `wm_cargo__Cases`.`_pageName`="‎West v General Social Care Council (2009) UKFTT 330 (HESC)" ORDER BY `Summary` LIMIT 100 Function: CargoSQLQuery::run Error: 1267 Illegal mix of collations (latin1_swedish_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,COERCIBLE) for operation '=' (dc2-mysql-02.kattare.com)

Query: SELECT `Summary` AS `Summary` FROM `wm_cargo__Cases` WHERE `wm_cargo__Cases`.`_pageName`="‎Halilovic v Bosnia and Herzegovina 23968/05 [2009] ECHR 1933" ORDER BY `Summary` LIMIT 100 Function: CargoSQLQuery::run Error: 1267 Illegal mix of collations (latin1_swedish_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,COERCIBLE) for operation '=' (dc2-mysql-02.kattare.com)