This judgment relates to the reasons of Theis J for granting a time limited extension for a reporting restriction order (‘RRO’).
The application was made out of hours on 2nd December 2015, concluding just before 10pm.
The case relates to Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v C and V  EWCOP 80]. It related to the issue of whether or not the patient (‘P’) had capacity to refuse treatment of renal dialysis which would extend her life. MacDonald J heard the matter on 13th November 2015 and found that she did have capacity.
At an earlier hearing on 9th November 2015 Moor J had granted an RRO to last during P’s life-time. P sadly died on 28th November 2015 and P’s daughter (‘V’) wished for the RRO to be extended after P’s death.
V’s position was set out by her solicitor who stated that she had been contacted by the BBC to see of V wished to comment on the case. A number of the family members had been contacted by the press. Details of P’s life had been kept from P’s younger children and they were vulnerable to the effect of being identified. V’s solicitor set out the large number of email requests from the press during the day.
V’s solicitor relied on a further statement which set out her instructions from V which had developed during the day as the press interest intensified.
It was argued that there should be an extension of 7 days to have an effective inter parties hearing. It was argued that:-
Other parties’ positions
The Hospital supported the application and the OS remained neutral.
The press opposed the application. They:-
There was no issue between the parties that the court had jurisdiction to extend the RRO applying The Press Association v Newcastle Upon Tyne Foundation Trust  EWCOP 6:
'that where a court has restricted the publication of information during proceedings that were in existence during a person's lifetime, it has not only the right but the duty to consider, when requested to do so, whether that information should continue to be protected following the person's death, and to balance the factors that arise in the particular case'.
The court also considered Re M  1 WLR 287, balancing between Articles 10 and 8 (see paragraph 13).
The court extended the RRO for 7 days. Although there was delay in the application the court was satisfied that there was not undue delay.
Whilst there is an interference with Article 10 it has to be looked at in the context that full details of the process by which the court reached the decision, the evidence relied on and the underlying rationale are already in the public domain.
The hearing dealt with very difficult issues and the RRO was only mentioned in passing.
The press interest at the time of the case was not anticipated and intensified during 2nd December 2015. The court considered the impact on the children. The court weighed in the balance the explicit nature of the evidence and that much of it reflects discredit on P.
There was no public interest in P or family being identified.
There is an arguable case that at a substantive hearing the RRO will be continued.
The court wanted to ensure that the press had notice of the application and hearing; no formal notice through CopyDirect was given as they only operate during office hours.
The court was critical that the press was not notified by CopyDirect service once the decision had been made. The court emphasised that only where there are compelling reasons these applications must be made on notice.
Read the full text of the judgment on Bailii
Comments are closed.
Case summaries on every Court of Protection case & other relevant decisions with links to the full judgment where available.
Support the Hub
This site is free to access but if you find it useful then please consider a contribution by way of support for our work. Click here to contribute.
Sign up for our free email alert
We do not share your details with any third parties and you can unsubscribe at any time
More from Bath Publishing