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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."|
|Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (17 012 839a) (2019) MHLO 44 (LGSCO)||Complaint about community care delay||LGSCO's summary: "The Ombudsmen do not consider Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust delayed providing support for Mrs X’s mental health needs. We have not found fault with the way the Council decided what support she needed. The Ombudsmen consider Derbyshire County Council delayed completing Mr X’s carer assessment and should have considered carrying out an integrated assessment with Mrs X. However, it has remedied the distress Mr X suffered."|
|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."|
|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."|
|LCN v KF (2019) EWCOP 1||Settlement of property on trust||"This is an application under section 18(1)(h) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for the settlement of CJF's property on trust. ... By the time of the hearing it was expected that CJF would die in a matter of days. As noted earlier in this judgement, CJF died the following week. ... LCN [CJF's deputy] made an application on 20th November 2018 for the settlement of CJF's assets including his property at 1AY on revocable trust for himself during his lifetime and thereafter for 1AY to pass to EH [CFJ's daughter] and AH [EH's husband] and the residue of CJF's estate to pass to KF [CFJ's mother]. ... By the rules of intestacy, CJF's estate would be divided equally between KF and CJF's biological father, stated by KF to be BJF. This is subject to section 18 of the Family Law Reform Act 1987 which raises a rebuttable presumption that BJF pre-deceased CJF as his name did not appear on CJF's birth certificate. KF was able to contact BJF, but only through social media. That contact was sufficient, in my view, to rebut the presumption. If the court did not approve the settlement of CJF's property, it would be divided equally between KF and BJF with nothing passing to EH and AH. It would be open to EH and AH to make an application under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, but the outcome of such an application was uncertain. ... In this case, I consider that there were exceptional circumstance justifying proceeding without BJF being notified. These circumstances were his complete lack of involvement in CJF's life and care and his denial of paternity. There was a genuine urgency and balancing the prejudice of proceeding in the absence of BJF with the prejudice to EH and AH of not proceeding, I considered that the hearing had to take place despite the lack of service on BJF. It was agreed between the parties, and I ordered, that attempts should be made after the hearing to locate BJF and serve him with a copy of the final order so that it would be open to him to apply to set aside or vary it. ... The parties agree, and I find, that the authorities on the making of a statutory will apply to the settlement of CJF's estate in this case. I was advised by Miss Hughes that between 1925 and 1959 the Court had no power to make a statutory will and so would have approved settlement trusts as an alternative. ... All agreed that 1AY should pass to EH and AH and that the residue of the estate should pass to KF. I take that agreement into account and see no reason to depart from it. ... The question remains whether AH and EH should be effectively liable for some of the Inheritance Tax liability or whether the liability should all be borne by the estate, and in effect KF. ... I do not consider that it would be in CJF's best interests for there to be any risk to the security and stability of EH's and AH's home and therefore I consider that they should inherit 1AY effectively free of Inheritance Tax."|
|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.|
|Rotherham Doncaster & South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (18 010 101a) (2019) MHLO 43 (LGSCO)||Failure to carry out carer's assessment||LGSCO's summary of decision: "The Trust and Council were at fault in not carrying out a carer’s assessment and not involving Mrs S during her husband’s period of treatment. There was also fault in record-keeping and delays in responding to the complaint. These failings caused an injustice to Mrs S as she lost the opportunity for additional support and is likely to have suffered additional distress. The Trust and Council have already taken action to address these failings and improve processes. The Trust and Council have agreed to pay Mrs S financial redress and the Trust has agreed to monitor and report on improvements in its complaints handling."|
|Staffordshire County Council (18 004 809) (2019) MHLO 41 (LGSCO)||Failure to carry out DOLS assessments||LGSCO decision: "The Council has acted with fault in deciding not to assess low and medium priority Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards applications. The Council is also taking too long to deal with urgent applications. This is causing a potential injustice to the thousands of people in its area who are being deprived of their liberty without the proper checks that the restrictions they are subject to are in their best interests." The final sentence of the conclusion states: "[I]t is not acceptable that the only way low and medium priority applications are resolved is because the people involved move away or die."|