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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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CAPACITY: A Local Authority v ED (By Her Litigation Friend, The Official Solicitor) [2013] EWHC 3069 (COP)
Date:29 OCT 2013
Law Reporter

(Court of Protection, Roderic Wood J, 4 October 2013)

The young woman who was in her early thirties was diagnosed with a learning disability and orders had been made in 2010 in relation to where she should live and contact with her family. The family now brought proceedings once again to determine whether the woman had capacity to make decisions about: where to live; contact; personal care needs; the removal of her pubic hair (for cultural/religious reasons); and, whether or not she can consent to giving an achieving best evidence interview.

At a directions hearing the family changed their position on where the woman should live and suggested possible residential homes nearby which could be considered but neither were considered suitable. By the time of the scheduled 10-day-hearing the parents were in agreement with the orders proposed by the local authority but offered no explanation for their change of stance. The costs involved had been in the region of £350,000 and the parents had their expenses met from public funds which was an astonishing sum to spend on one case particularly when the outcome was an agreement to consent to the requested orders.