(Court of Appeal, Thorpe, Black and Davis LJJ, 8 February 2012)
The young man suffered from a mild mental retardation and lived with his father and brother. The father accepted that the long term plan for the man was to move to local authority care but when it was proposed that he should move on a trial basis the father opposed the plan on the grounds that the son was been pressurised.
The judge concluded that it was in the man’s best interests to move to supported living on a trial basis. The father appealed on the basis that the starting point in the balancing exercise of determining where the man should live was the family life with his father and brother.
In dismissing the appeal the court held that the authorities did not establish that family life was the starting point for any such decision. The safest approach for judges was to determine what was in the person’s best interests having regard to the checklist in s 4 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.