22 Wednesday Mar 2017
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 411
This appeal considered whether a commissioning body can, by its decision not to fund a particular option for contact, remove the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection to make a best interests decision about contact, and whether the failure to conduct a best interests assessment and/or determine the facts breached the Appellant’s rights under the ECHR to a fair trial and a family life. The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeal and held that the Court of Protection did not have the power to order the Respondent to fund the parents’ plan, nor to order the care providers to do what they were unwilling or unable to do. The Court has no greater power than to make a decision that P would have made himself and thus it can only choose between the available options. The Supreme Court held that the judge was entitled to conclude, in substance, that no useful purpose would have been served by continuing the hearing.