John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Saturday, October 15, 2016
  Whats the name of the secret cat?
This case has been reported in the media today. I have linked to the judgment for the case.

To give a summary of the recent timescales:
On 18th August 2016 Mrs Teresa Kirk was sentenced to a 6 month suspended sentence for not signing over a man in his 80s to an anonymous council (one presumes in England or Wales given the jurisdiction of the court).
She was arrested on Sunday 25th September at around 10am and taken to prison.
This week the Daily Mail started asking questions as to where the public judgment was for this process and surprise, surprise, one popped out of the system. On Monday this week Mrs Kirk was lost somewhere in the prison system, but she managed to get a note passed out with another prisoner who told people where she was.

The judgment makes it potentially contempt of court to Name MM's cat.
More importantly the judgment makes it potentially contempt of court to name the local authority. If I were still involved in running a council (as I was for 22 years) I would be very unhappy not being told what was being done in the council's name. (even if all of the human parties were anonymous).
It is clear from the judgment that the official solicitor is involved. This raises the question as to who is paying for the official solicitor and how the official solicitor is to be held for account for whatever involvement they may have.

I do know more about this case and it worries me how the courts act as enforcers for local authorities. The court of appeal recently claimed that these proceedings (as with forced adoption) are not "adversarial." I am sorry, but they are wrong. The proceeding are clearly very adversarial. One side wins the other side loses. However, normally only one side is allowed to present expert opinion. It is not surprising that things go badly wrong. Many of the so called "independent" experts are effectively (or actually) on retainers to local authorities. This means that people do not have a trial that can be considered to be procedurally fair.

This story in the Telegraph quotes Mrs Kirk's solicitor as saying: “There has been a vast amount of public money wasted on this case without achieving anything that is going to be beneficial for this man. Any move at this stage is likely to result in his death.”

Watch this space.
 
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