A High Court judge has been removed from a case after his passionate views were found to have been ‘distorting his approach’.
Master of the rolls Lord Dyson said Mr Justice Mostyn (pictured) had twice made decisions which had been successfully appealed in relation to a court of protection order.
Mostyn had said the law regarding the Cheshire West Supreme Court case, which decided on deprivation of liberty issues, was now in a ‘state of serious confusion’. But Dyson countered there was ‘nothing confusing about it’. He added that Mostyn’s analysis of Cheshire West ‘was, and could be, of no legal effect’ and was ‘irrelevant’.
Dyson added: ‘This has led to considerable unnecessary costs to the public purse and unnecessary use of court time.
‘We regret to say that it is the judge’s tenacious adherence to his jurisprudential analysis leading to his conclusion that Cheshire West was wrongly decided that has been at the root of this.’
Mostyn had been asked to decide whether the care arrangements for a severely mentally disabled woman amounted to a deprivation of her liberty.
Following a hearing this month in the court of appeal, Dyson said Mostyn had ‘purported’ to apply the test required by Cheshire West but it was clear from his judgment that he did not agree with it, and he felt able to distinguish it from the Supreme Court case.
An appeal, on the basis that Mostyn erred in concluding the woman was not being deprived of her liberty in her home, was not opposed by Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, the local authority which had made the first application.
For the second judgment, Mostyn directed that the case should be reserved for him and insisted on a new hearing to determine if a deprivation of liberty existed.
But the appeal court held Mostyn was wrong to say it had not been decided that the woman was being detained by the state.
Dyson said a review of the case should be carried out by a different judge, who need not be a High Court judge.