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Judge criticises council in Court of Protection case

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A Judge sitting in the Court of Protection has ruled that a local authority acted unlawfully when it moved a “vulnerable” young woman into a care facility.

Sir James Munby explained that the lady in question had a learning disability and lacked the mental capacity to make her own decisions.

The court heard that concerns had been raised four years ago about the woman’s behaviour and the relationship with her mother.

This prompted members of the council’s social services department to move the woman, who was in her 20s, out of her home.

But Sir James, who is president of the Court of Protection and among the most senior members of the UK judiciary, ruled that the staff should have sought approval from a Judge before taking the decision.

He reminded councils that they had a responsibility to seek “appropriate judicial authority” before moving those who lacked mental capacity out of their own home.

Due to privacy considerations, the council in question was not named in the ruling.