Where a deputy wishes to discontinue in the role, an application must be made to the court.
The applicant sought to be appointed as Property and Affairs Deputy in 7 cases where the Council no longer wished to act as deputy. The key issues were:
i. What should be the approach of the court when a deputy who has previously consented to act now wishes to discontinue?
ii. To what extent should the court consider the Council's compliance, or otherwise, with Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 when considering a deputy's application to withdraw?
The court said that it was important to identify that when a deputy indicates an intention to withdraw consent to act, this requires an application to be made to the court. In such circumstances it was axiomatic that the withdrawal of the deputy's consent to act is not, in itself, determinative of the decision to discharge. The decision is for the court. When the court comes to consider an application by a deputy to be discharged from the role it will arrive at its decision by focusing on the impact on P of either granting or refusing the application. When approaching its task, the court will consider whether the application is consistent with the objectives of the MCA i.e. whether or not the application is motivated to promote P's best interests in accordance with the principles that the court identified. If the application appears to be driven by arbitrary or discriminatory criteria devised, for example to save costs, then the court (if it identifies them) will take them in to account to whatever degree is appropriate when coming to its decision. This will not be in consequence of a public law style review of compliance with Equality legislation, but rather the application of the principles of the MCA.
Read the full text of the judgment on Bailii
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