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Supreme Court to decide whether commissioning body can oust Court of Protection’s jurisdiction

Commissioning group unwilling to fund home contact

The Supreme Court will give its judgment in N v ACCG and others on 22 March 2017. The case concerns the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection and the approach it should adopt when a clinical commissioning group is unwilling to fund home contact, as sought, whether by the patient or, as here, by the patient's family.

The Court will decide 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 appellant's son, MN, has complex disabilities and lacks capacity to litigate and to make decisions for himself. He lives in an adult residential placement in the area of the first respondent, who has refused to fund home visits. The Court of Protection then refused to undertake an assessment of whether home visits were in MN's best interests, on the basis that they did not have jurisdiction to do so since home visits were not an available option. The appellant appealed.

For the judgment in the Court of Appeal, prefaced by a summary, click here.