BP v Surrey CC [2020] EWCOP 17 

This was an urgent application on behalf of BP, brought by his daughter and litigation friend, FP. BP is 83, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and is deaf but can communicate through a ‘communication board.’ FP brought an application seeking BP’s discharge from his care home and that BP be returned home with an appropriate care package. 

The application arose after BP’s care home suspended all visits. FP argued that this was an infringement of BP’s Article 5 and 8 ECHR rights. BP was assessed in July 2019 as lacking capacity to make decisions about his accommodation and care needs as a result of his cognitive impairment but nevertheless he understood most of the relevant information regarding these decisions. 

Hayden J considered in detail the relevant ECHR obligations and BP’s rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. He particularly made some rather notable comments regarding derogation from the ECHR which are considered in more detail on the EJIL: Talk Blog for those who are interested in this area. 

Hayden J ultimately concluded that it was not realistic to discharge BP home to live with his daughter, FP. A plan was made to teach BP to use Skype and potentially instant messaging. Furthermore, the family could stand near BP’s window and wave to him and use the communication board. 

Scott Storey from 1COR Brighton appeared in this case. He did not contribute to this article.