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Landmark Court of Protection Judgement


Trinity Court of Protection and Family barrister, Justin Gray summarises the long awaited judgment of Cheshire West [2014] UKSC 19.

In two conjoined appeals, the Supreme Court has revisited the powers of local authorities and health trusts to control and restrain patients and vulnerable adults.

The human right not to be deprived of one’s liberty save in prescribed circumstances and in accordance with the law is universal, and applies to all individuals whatever their frailty and flaws.  Such frailty and flaws might provide a justification for a person’s life and freedom to move to be constrained, but they don’t disapply the human right.

Therefore, where the state or a limb of the state seeks to impose restrictions and restraint on any person’s movement, for example where they are under continuous supervision and control or will be stopped from going somewhere considered a danger to them, that power must be sanctioned.

This does not apply to a parent imposing restrictions on the lives of their children in the exercise of their ordinary parental responsibilities.

As well as dealing with complex child care proceedings, including Judicial Review, Justin is instructed in cases involving vulnerable adults and the Court of Protection. He was recognised in the 2014 edition of Chambers UK - "Handles a number of significant and sensitive cases, including allegations of sexual abuse, the protection of vulnerable adults, and contested adoption and care proceedings."

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