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Secrecy and the Court of Protection

The Court of Protections decision to jail Wanda Maddocks has raised concerns over secrecy, says Lynsey Colman

3 May 2013

The Court of Protection case of SCC v JM & Ors has created headlines in the press again now that Wanda Maddocks has been revealed as the first person known to the public to be given a prison sentence for contempt of court by the Court of Protection. Although the case is an extreme example of the court exercising its powers, should there be some concern about the private nature of its hearings and judgments?

In brief, Wanda Maddocks ignored Court of Protection orders in relation to removing her father from a care home, distributing leaflets during hearings that identified her father and the proceedings in the court, abusing and threatening a social worker and bringing her father to court on the day of the judgment regarding a welfare application. This caused her father, who suffered from dementia, great distress and care professionals around him felt action had to be taken to protect him. She evaded service of the application for the contempt of court proceedings and didn...

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