The title suggests this ought to be an important resource for those dealing with mental capacity issues – and the content does not disappoint.
What the handbook offers is a clear, concise and comprehensive guide to an area of law that the authors themselves recognise is both complex and sensitive. It is packed full of useful facts and guidance, but remains easy to read and understand. It is accessible to lawyers with any level of expertise and is well laid out, which makes it a useful reference tool for the busy practitioner.
The handbook provides a good explanation of the changes brought about by recent case law such as Cheshire West and MIG and MEG. It attempts to clarify some of the confusion over recent legislation and explains when and where a deprivation of liberty might arise, as well as offering practical information such as emergency contact details for the Royal Courts of Justice. The appendices are as useful as the text itself, with extracts from relevant statutory materials and even precedent Court of Protection forms.
Authors: Her Honour Nazreen Pearce, District Judge Sue Jackson
Although the handbook provides the latest case law and statutory guidance as at September 2015,
the authors recognise that changes are coming and highlight throughout the book where these might arise. This is a very fast-paced area of law which is attracting much attention.
In the preface, the authors state that the handbook is ‘designed to assist legal, medical and social work practitioners to navigate the law, practice and procedure as it currently stands’.
From a solicitor’s point of view it does just that and has already become a well-thumbed reference work in the community care department. With the Law Commission report and draft bill expected later this year, I will certainly be keeping my eye out for an updated version.
Mea Fyfe is a senior solicitor in the public law team at Moore Blatch, Southampton