On appeal from: [2015] 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 had no greater power than to make a decision that the relevant person would have made himself and thus it could 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.

For judgment, please download: [2017] UKSC 22
For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website (14 Dec 2016 morning session) (14 Dec 2016 afternoon session) (15 Dec 2016 morning session)