City of Westminster v FS (2009) COP 11685959

Successful appeal by Official Solicitor against rejection of application to instruct independent social worker.

Official summary

The following is an extract from Judiciary of England and Wales, 'Court of Protection Report 2010' (July 2011).

2. City of Westminster v FS (No 11685959) (HH Judge Horowitz QC, 9 September 2009). FS was born in 1932, lives in Pimlico and has a persecutory belief structure. He was placed in a residential unit, the Jules Thorn home, on 21 January 2009. An interim declaration was made by the court that it was lawful to use diversionary tactics to keep him there. The declaration came up for review by a district judge on 10 August 2009. The Official Solicitor, as FS’s litigation friend, asked for a report from an independent social worker, Stuart Sinclair. The district judge thought that instructing an independent social worker was unnecessary and not going to add any value to these proceedings. The Official Solicitor appealed and HH Judge Horowitz allowed the appeal stating that the district judge “should have explored a little better with the advocates and have brought into play the competing considerations of getting the case up and running properly and the inevitable knock-on effect in extending a deprivation order.”


Thanks to Sophy Miles (Doughty Street Chambers) for providing the judgment.

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