MM v A City Council  EWCOP 62
Judgment explaining final order in long-running proceedings concerning residence and restrictions of a young man with a personality disorder, drug and alcohol issues.
Michael had been living in a residential placement with 24-hour support but was subject to restrictions including a 10pm curfew and a ban on drug and alcohol use. Michael reacted to these restrictions violently and by absconding regularly so a new, more restrictive placement was suggested by the Council. However the new placement refused to take him because of the risk to staff and other residents.
In this judgment, HHJ Burrows, reviews the evidence of the ISW and the expert witness and considers the best interests of Michael. He admits the judgment has no legal novelty but adds
"its very normality hides the profound nature of the decisions made on behalf of Michael, as well as the difficult and finely balanced welfare assessments professionals have to make when planning and caring for those with Michael's challenges."
He goes on to approve a final order that will see Michael remain at Placement 1 and that, even though the expert was unable to assess Michael's capacity to make decisions relating to contact with other people and the use of the internet and other social media (which might usually be a flaw) he concludes that [30-31]
"Any restrictions on Michael's freedom beyond the present care-plan with residence at Placement 1, and the curfew, would be counterproductive.....
....Having been involved in this case since it began, when urgent decisions were made to try to ensure Michael was kept safe, I am entirely satisfied that the proposed resolution to this application is the right one. It strikes the right balance between keeping Michael safe on the one hand and allowing him to do what he wants to do- including making some mistakes- on the other."
Read the full judgment on Bailii.
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