LBL v RYJ [2010] EWHC 2665 (COP)

RYJ had capacity in relation to care, contact, residential education and residence, and was not vulnerable as a result of external factors so as to invoke the inherent jurisdiction; discussion of mother's status as appointee and her application to SENDIST.

Official summary

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

19. LBL v RYJ and VJ [2010] EWHC 2665 (Mrs Justice Macur, 22 September 2010) RYJ was born on 28 April 1992. She suffered brain damage at birth and has a very low IQ. She is the only child of her mother VJ, who originates from Zambia. The relationship between mother and daughter is very difficult, and there have been allegations of domestic violence. From 2003 RYJ was a boarder at the National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy until her mother removed her in July 2008. She was then educated at home for a year until she was placed at St Mary’s, Bexhill-on-Sea, where she is extremely happy. Her placement is funded by the LBL. Her mother contends that RYJ is not receiving educational provision she needs and has applied to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal to direct a transfer to another establishment. Although there appeared to be some inconsistency in RYJ’s own views on this matter, at paragraph 49 the judge held that: “Quite clearly the fact of inconsistency is not necessarily a sign of confusion. Equally, confusion is not necessarily an indication of incapacity.”

The judge went on to conclude that at this time RYJ “has capacity to make decisions about her care, contact and residence including the provision of education within the residential setting of St. Mary’s, Bexhill-on-Sea. I determine that the inherent jurisdiction is not invoked in the circumstances of this case and is not available to displace RYJ’s autonomy in decisions relating to care, contact and residence including education. The appointment of VJ to receive her benefits is reasonable and I do not seek by any means in this judgment to support her dismissal and substitution by another. I merely reflect that any attempt to constrain RYJ’s decisions reached appropriately should be regarded as good reason to replace VJ as appointee.”


[2011] All ER (D) 290 (Feb)


Thanks to Alex Ruck Keene (39 Essex Chambers) for providing the judgment.

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Transcript from Alex Ruck Keene