Debbie Morrell Williams with the latest cases and articles

31 March 2017

N (Appellant) v ACCG and others (Respondents) [2017] UKSC 22 On appeal from [2015] EWCA Civ 411 (Supreme Court)

The issue in this appeal is the role of the Court of Protection where there is a dispute between the providers or funders of health or social care services for a person who lacks the capacity to make decisions for himself and members of his family about what should be provided for him.

The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the Parents appeal and ruled that it did not have the power to order the respondent (ACCG and Others) to fund the Parents care plan nor to offer the actual care providers to do that which they were unwilling and unable to do. Lady Hale stated that there was no useful purpose was served by continuing the hearing.

The Jurisdiction of the Court of Protection is limited to decisions that ‘P’ could make himself if he had the capacity to do so and thus can only select from the ‘available options.

Alex Ruck Keene appeared in the case and Alex’s Briefing on the Law Commission’s Mental Capacity and DOL’s Report and Draft Bill is available here


This case hinged on the application to challenge R’s detention in hospital the application was made in 2016 and was signed by the solicitor and not the applicant.

The case took in to consideration the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber) Rules 2008 (SI No 2699):

7. Failure to comply with these Rules or any requirement of the Rules does not in itself render void the proceedings.

8. Striking out a party’s case (1) with the exception of paragraph (3) this does not apply to mental health cases.

32. Procedure in Mental Health Cases

(1) An application or reference must be

(b) Signed in the case of an application by the applicant or by any person authorised by the applicant to do so.

Consideration was given to the question was the patient so mentally disordered that they were unable to authorise the solicitor to make an application on their behalf. The case also considered the conflicting instruction in the Tribunal procedure rules.

Mind’s  response to spring budget- Health and Social Care

See the Budget here:

Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, Vicki Nash reports: That the funding in social care, accident and Emergency and GP Liaison are welcomed by Mind as all are vital to people with mental health problems. Vicki Nash expressed concern that the chancellor did not explicitly mention mental health.

Mind expressed concern about the lack of holistic support upon leaving hospital for people suffering mental health issues and the number of those affected by this who end up being readmitted.


Youngest Ever Female Judge has been appointed

Solicitor- Advocate, Briony Clarke has become the youngest female Judge in the country.

Briony Clarke was just 31 when she was sworn in as a deputy district Judge (Magistrates Court) at Chelmsford.

Clarke was admitted to the roll in 2009 and had an ambition to apply to become a Judge and as soon as she had practiced for the requisite 7 years she made her successful application

Appointment of Carolyn Hilder to be a Circuit Judge, Senior Judge of the Court of Protection

The Queen has appointed Carolyn Hayley Jane Hilder to be a Circuit Judge, Senior Judge of the Court of Protection on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, the Right Honourable Elizabeth Truss MP and the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the Right Honourable The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd.