In the most important week for the Mental Capacity Act in several years, two critical aspects of the law in this area will be under scrutiny in the week of 12th December. On the 13th and 14th, the Court of Appeal will be considering the question of what deprivation of liberty looks like in the intensive care setting in the appeal against the decision of the Divisional Court in R (LF) v HM Chief Coroner for Inner London (South). This issue is of major significance for all those in clinical practice, and the decision of the Court of Appeal is also likely to have wider ramifications as the first appellate level consideration in any detail of the meaning of the “acid test” set down by the Supreme Court decision in Cheshire West. On the 14th and 15th, the Supreme Court will, itself, be considering the division between the Court of Protection and the Administrative Court in the appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in Re MN, and asking – in essence – whether those concerned with making best interests decision in or out of the Court of Protection are confined to choosing between options that are actually available to the person concerned. The Supreme Court hearing will be streamed live at https://www.supremecourt.uk/.
Cementing the position of 39 Essex Chambers as the leading health and welfare Court of Protection set, members of Chambers will be appearing in both of these cases: Jenni Richards QC and Victoria-Butler Cole for the Appellant in LF, and Alex Ruck Keene (pro bono) for the interveners the Intensive Care Society and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine; Neil Allen as part of the Counsel team for the Appellant in Re MN and Alex Ruck Keene as part of the Counsel team for MN, by his litigation friend the Official Solicitor.”