The Supreme Court has granted permission to the Official Solicitor to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in Re D  EWCA Civ 1695. The hearing has been expedited and listed for 3 and 4 October. Anyone who wants to understand how the MCA 2005 is intended to interact with the Children Act 1989 will be well advised to keep a careful eye out for the judgment in due course.
The Supreme Court will hear the appeal in MM (concerning conditional discharge and confinement) on 26 July. It has also very recently been confirmed will hear the appeal in PJ (concerning the jurisdiction of the Mental Health Tribunal over human rights issues, as well as CTOs and deprivation of liberty) on 22 October.
The snappily named Court of Protection, Civil Proceedings and Magistrates’ Courts Fees (Amendment) Order 2018, coming into force on 25 July, will reduce the fees for applications from £400 to £385, and for appeals from £400 to £320.
The reduction to these fees follows, according to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice Lucy Frazer QC MP “a thorough and detailed review undertaken by officials in the Ministry of Justice into the cost of these proceedings. Our review has identified a number of cases where the fees charged were above full cost recovery levels.” It is not clear at this stage whether those who have been charged the higher sums in the CoP will also benefit from the refund scheme that is being applied in relation to excess fees identified in other areas.
The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill has just been introduced to the House of Commons.
The press release explains that
“The reforms seek to:
- introduce a simpler process that involves families more and gives swifter access to assessments
- be less burdensome on people, carers, families and local authorities
- allow the NHS, rather than local authorities, to make decisions about their patients, allowing a more efficient and clearly accountable process
- consider restrictions of people’s liberties as part of their overall care package
- get rid of repeat assessments and authorisations when someone moves between a care home, hospital and ambulance as part of their treatment
The reforms will also save local authorities an estimated £200 million or more a year.”
The progress of the Bill will be watched by many.