This webinar will address the key principles in litigation capacity and common issues that arise in a range of practice areas: asylum and immigration, community care, education and housing proceedings. Our speakers will discuss how the principles apply in practice and practical approaches to navigating issues that arise. The webinar is aimed at practitioners with varying levels of experience of mental capacity issues and will include an introduction to some of the key concepts in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
(i) Introduction to key principles: principles on mental capacity in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and assessing litigation capacity- Helen Curtis, Garden Court Chambers
(ii) CPR Part 21, litigation capacity and litigation friends: issues in community care and housing cases - Bethan Harris and Tim Baldwin, both of Garden Court Chambers
(iii) Education: litigation capacity issues in SEND appeals - Ollie Persey, Garden Court Chambers
(iv) Asylum and immigration: litigation capacity issues in tribunal appeals and judicial review - Emma Fitzsimons, Garden Court Chambers
Q&A with the panel
Helen Curtis, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Helen Curtis' legal practice concentrates on areas where the liberty of the subject is at stake, particularly in areas of mental health, prisoners and the Court of Protection. She appears before Tribunals, Parole Boards and courts through to the Court of Appeal. Helen is approved as a mediator on the Court of Protection Mediation Panel. Helen is instructed by: the Official Solicitor; Relevant Person's Representative (Paid); Litigation Friends from advocacy services; the local authority; or a family member, to represent a party in Court of Protection proceedings in matters of health and welfare or property and financial affairs. She appears in courts and tribunals where a person's mental health or lack of capacity is concerned. Her practice includes claims for unlawful detention, appeals and judicial review where appropriate. Helen writes regularly for the Garden Court Chambers Social Welfare Updates Blog.
Bethan Harris, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Bethan Harris is an experienced practitioner specialising in housing law, community care law and Court of Protection. She brings her wealth of expertise in all these areas to complex cases which often include consideration of public law principles, equality and discrimination and capacity issues. Bethan appears frequently in the Court of Protection. Her work includes emergency applications, deprivation of liberty issues, local authority safeguarding duties, personal welfare applications, contested appointments of financial/health and welfare deputies, complex care packages. She covers some property and financial affairs matters. Bethan acts for litigation friends, local authorities and family members. She is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's panel of counsel. Bethan currently writes regularly for the Garden Court Chambers Social Welfare Updates Blog.
Tim Baldwin, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Tim Baldwin is ranked as a leading junior in the Legal 500 for Court of Protection and Community Care, Social Housing and Civil Liberties and Human Rights. Tim is known for his fierce commitment to representing vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged clients. He has appeared in a number of reported cases in the Court of Appeal, High Court, and has significant experience in representing patients in the Mental Health Tribunal, in aftercare disputes and advising MIND on changes by Parliament to s 117 and safeguarding issues. Tim also specialises in Court of Protection proceedings concerning health and welfare decisions, specialist accommodation and DoLS issues for applicants and all respondents, including emergency applications and instruction by the OS. Recent cases have concerned disputes over residence, contact and care, together with DoLS and court authorisation of deprivation of liberty on discharge of patients from psychiatric care. Tim writes regularly for the Garden Court Chambers Social Welfare Updates Blog and was a contributing author to the LAG books Adult Social Care Law and Children’s Social Care Law by the late Stephen Knafler QC.
Emma Fitzsimons, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Emma Fitzsimons is an immigration and public law barrister, practising in immigration and asylum, unlawful detention, trafficking, age assessments and community care. Emma regularly appears on behalf of unaccompanied minors, trafficking victims and vulnerable adults in the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and Administrative Court. She also has experience of fresh claim and certification judicial review challenges, as well as urgent removal cases. She has experience acting for age disputed asylum-seeking children, and has acted in judicial review proceedings seeking appropriate bail accommodation for vulnerable detainees. Emma, together with Henry Blaxland QC and Stephen Clark of Garden Court Chambers, acted in the case VCL v UK, representing VCL in his application to the European Court of Human Rights. She appears pro bono in bail applications on behalf of Bail for Immigration Detainees. She is a contributing author to the leading immigration practitioner text, Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice. She is also a contributing author to Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Law and Practice (2nd edition).
Ollie Persey, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Ollie is a public law barrister. He has particular expertise in judicial review claims raising discrimination, education, EU citizens’ rights and retained EU law issues. Ollie is developing a practice representing individuals with impaired mental capacity in the Court of Protection. He is currently instructed as junior counsel (led by Amanda Weston QC and Desmond Rutledge) in MOC v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a challenge to the ‘adult hospital’ rule for Disability Living Allowance as it applies to an adult with severe learning disabilities which has been granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. He also represents Migrants Organise (led by Amanda Weston QC and Bijan Hoshi) in a systemic judicial review challenging the inadequacy of the mental capacity policy for the EU Settlement Scheme. Outside of practice, Ollie is a volunteer litigation friend in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) through Migrants Organise’s Migrant Mental Capacity Advocacy project. He is also a trustee of The Elfrida Society, a charity that provides holistic support to people with learning disabilities. Ollie also writes for the Garden Court Chambers Social Welfare Updates Blog.