Ed Lamb counsel in a legal first last week.
Ed Lamb, Head of our Court of Protection Team, was counsel in a legal first last week. Mr Justice Mostyn, along with 6 lawyers, 11 witnesses, 3 experts and 2 journalists all conducted an important COP hearing by Skype.
The Judgment was handed down on 27 March 2020, CCG v. A  EWCOP 16. This was difficult and sensitive case involving A. The central question was whether it was in A’s best interests, a man in his 70s who suffered a stroke in 2016, to continue to receive clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH). A’s daughter believed CANH should be removed and his GP thought it should stay in place. Unusually for cases of this nature, A was not in a prolonged disorder of consciousness: despite significant impairment, there was evidence that he communicated with those caring for him, and clearly enjoys seeing animals and children, and hearing poetry. The Court found it in A’s best interests to continue to receive CANH and therefore it did not need to go onto consider arguments relating to Article 2.
Aside from the importance of the case itself, it shows there is hope to enable access to justice in these difficult days. The parties all attended the hearing by Skype for business. Despite a few minor glitches (including appearances by 2 dogs and one cat), the hearing ran well and concluded in the predicted time.