Best interests declaration in Charlie Gard case
Sophia Roper and Pravin were instructed by Bindmans for Connie Yates and Chris Gard, Charlie’s parents, all acting on a pro bono basis.
Click here for full news story
Court of Protection
Pravin’s instructions come from the Official Solicitor, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, care and residential homes, IMCAs, RPRs and Litigation Friends. He has been involved with the application of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) from its inception having worked in the NHS when it was being implemented. He also has an academic interest in the MCA and specifically the concept of “best interests” and its application.
Pravin delivers seminars on the MCA, including its development from the common law and its ethical foundations.
cases & work of note
EM – representing an NHS Trust in a contested High Court hearing where a 12 year old boy on hunger strike was refusing to eat/ drink due to a food anxiety disorder whereby he felt unable to swallow solid foods. He required various medical interventions, including a naso-gastric tube.
CK – representing an NHS Trust in a contested High Court hearing where a child required a Hickman line to be placed urgently. The parents opposed this for religious reasons.
EM – representing an NHS Trust in a case concerning a blood transfusion to a child whose parents were Jehovah’s Witness.
TOT – representing a local authority in a case where P’s treating clinicians deemed P to lack capacity as to litigation, residency , care and treatment but where a standard authorisation was refused as she was deemed to have capacity. A further section 49 report also deemed that P retained capacity in respect of residency, care and treatment.
KG – representing the Official Solicitor where the local authority made an application concerning P’s long term residency and contact incorrectly through the Re X and Ors (Deprivation of Liberty) 2014 EWCOP and Re X and Ors (Deprivation of Liberty)(Number 2) Re  EWCOP 37 procedure. P was a resident at a residential school and so no authorisation depriving him of his liberty could be granted under Schedule A1 MCA. No explanation was provided as to why an application was not made pursuant to section 16 MCA, despite P’s residency of approximately 3 years.
ZS – representing a CCG where P, who had a diagnosis of HIV, lacked capacity for contact but retained capacity for sexual relations. Issues concerning P’s residency and the duty of the CCG to facilitate P’s sexual contact with others and whether the CCG’s should move him to a location where this contact was easier to facilitate.
MS – representing a local authority in a case concerning P’s long term residency. P’s Litigation Friend stated she should return home although her husband was not able to cope with her advancing dementia. No other Respondent thought it in her best interests to move home, not least because of the impact on her ongoing relationship with her husband. Following oral evidence by an ISW the court deemed it was not in P’s best interests to return home.
AS – representing P by his Litigation Friend in a case concerning residency where the applicant local authority wanted to consolidate the issue of residency in the CoP with possession proceedings of P’s council flat.
VO – representing one of the Respondent children in a sensitive case concerning contact P had with her children who respectively contested the duration and place of contact each was to have. Issues also arose regarding access of P to her carers.
GJ – representing P by his Litigation Friend and IMCA where issues of long term residency and contact with parents and sibling were in issue.
MW – representing a CCG in a case concerning the court’s jurisdiction to make a welfare order under section 16(2)(a) MCA depriving P of his liberty notwithstanding the refusal of the local authority to issue a standard authorisation under Schedule 1A MCA. The Local Authority refused to issue a standard authorisation due to the BIA’s assessment as to P’s eligibility for detention under the MHA. However, the test applied by the BIA was incorrect.
PT – representing a CCG in an application brought on behalf of P pursuant to section 21A MCA challenging the eligibility requirements of capacity and best interests.
CB – representing the Official Solicitor in an application by the local authority where P’s nephew wanted P, who suffered with advanced dementia, to move out of 24-hour residential care and move to Germany.
CD – representing a CCG in a dispute regarding residency. P was entitled to section 117 MHA aftercare and issues arose regarding whether the CCG should be a respondent at all as the local authority were responsible for sourcing P’s accommodation. In accordance with section 117 MHA the CCG would continue to pay for the nursing element of P’s care.
BH – representing a CCG in an application by the local authority pursuant to section 21A MCA following a report by the RPR concerning P’s potential dissatisfaction with her current placement. There had been no reports that the current placement was not meeting P’s needs.
It is remarkable how this area of law has developed since the inception of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and how it continues to do so. As a lawyer, it is absolutely fascinating to practise in an area where the planes shift in this way. However, more than the fascination with any points of law it is the human element that underpins this work.
“It’s a huge advantage to represent all types of applicants and respondents.”
It’s an area that fascinated me academically and continues to do so in practice. It’s a huge advantage to represent all types of applicants and respondents as it provides a rounded perspective on any case I’m instructed in. Ultimately, it’s a great privilege to practise in an area that, at its core, deals with some of the most vulnerable people in our society.