#ActForTheAct – Human Rights and The Court of Protection


You may have noticed, that up and down the country, posters (such as the one below) are appearing with a stark message:


I needed the human rights act

This current government wants to scrap the Human Rights Act.

Simpson Millar are proud to support #ActForTheAct a campaign urging Justice Secretary, Michael Gove to think again. Scrapping the Human Rights Act would leave all of us unprotected when something goes wrong - and mean we have little chance of putting things right.

Act for the Act - Human Rights Act

Julie Cornes, Partner, Head of Court of Protection

Julie specialises in cases regarding Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty and has dealt with many cases in which the Human Rights Act became a cornerstone of its success.

"My client was elderly with a diagnosis of mild dementia and short term memory loss. After she became disorientated one day and was found wandering outside her home, she was admitted to hospital and treated for a urinary infection, as this had made her particularly unwell."

"When she was medically fit to be discharged from hospital, the hospital professionals and social services decided that it would be in her best interests to be admitted to a residential home, as she was considered to be vulnerable and at risk if she were to be returned home. She had also been assessed as not having mental capacity to understand the risks of a return home, as compared to living in a 24 hour supervised residential care home."

"Unfortunately, at the time the professionals made important decisions about my client's future, the local authority did not appoint her with an advocate to speak on her behalf, as required under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. As she did not have any relatives or close friends who could speak up on her behalf, this meant that she was unable to challenge the decision not to allow her to return home. She was therefore placed in a care home against her will."

"For the next year, my client continued to tell the care home that she wanted to leave and return home. She felt she was being imprisoned because she was not allowed to go out on her own. My client became very distressed because she wanted to go home. She had also been moved to a part of the care home which was for people with advanced dementia, who were considerably more disabled than my client, so that she was not able to form any friendships."

"The local authority has recently admitted that if the correct procedure under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 had been followed around the time of my client's hospital discharge and an appropriate care package had been put into place to support her at home, it is highly likely that she would still be living at home now."

"Because the correct procedure was not followed, this means that my client was unlawfully deprived of her liberty, in breach of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, for over 1 year. Not only does this mean that she was prevented from returning to her own home, but it also means that she may now have lost her ability to live independently again. The local authority has agreed to financially compensate my client for the breach of her human rights."

Act for the Act, sign the letter today.

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