Creighton & Partners have appeared in the Court of protection and successfully ensured that patients who have been detained under the Mental Capacity Act can still have access to Legal Aid, despite attempts to cut it as a result of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. The Court took the view that the cut to Legal Aid was, in fact, in breach of Article 5 of the European COnvention of Human Rights, right to liberty and security of person.
The Ministry of Justice has conceded that its decision to remove legal aid for people challenging their detention under the Mental Capacity Act was unlawful and should be reversed with immediate effect.
Creighton & Partners, acting pro bono, asked the Court of Protection to consider the legality of regulations introduced in April that stopped legal aid for a detained person once a court began considering the case. The regulations had the effect of leaving people lacking mental capacity either to argue their own case as a litigant in person against, usually, a local authority and its legal team or not to argue it at all.