Interesting conferences and books

I haven’t written a proper blog post for ages – partly this is because I’ve been away (camping in the rain on a deflating air mattress), partly because I’ve been writing various other things and also preparing some quite exciting (I think) research with colleagues which I’ll be posting about here and on our project website in the not too distant future…  I’ve been meaning to post various rambling thoughts about an (excellent) article Ian McEwan wrote last weekend about judgments about children and medical treatment (if McEwan planned to write a companion book to The Children Act, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 surely offers a library’s worth of existential-angst laden novels?).  I’ve also been meaning to write about the general defence under s5-6 MCA and the doctrine of necessity (what are their limits?  what use did Parliament and campaigners think they would be put to? what happened before the Neary ruling when people objected to ‘safeguarding’ or other ‘best interests’ measures? And can you really deliver ECT under s5-6 MCA as the draft Mental Health Act Code of Practice suggests?).  But I’m still catching up on emails so it’ll have to wait.

In the meantime, there are various interesting conferences and books I’ve been meaning to mention.  I’m looking forward to going to the annual Taking Stock Conference on 17th October 2014, there’s a great range of speakers and topics.  I’m looking forward to hearing about ‘The CoP and the MCA – Capacity to change?’ from District Judge Eldergill, evidence and evidence gaps for early intervention in psychosis (Professor Alison Yung), Phil Fennell talking about ‘The Myth of Consent in Psychiatry’, Yogi Amin on ‘Benevolence – How does this fit in to the Test for Liberty?’, Camilla Parker on ‘The Mental Health Care of Children and Young People – A minor concern?’, and Neil Allen’s thoughts on the new MHA Code.

Kent County Council are also putting on an interesting looking conference on the 6th October where blogger Andrew Pack will be talking about publicity in the CoP, Jenni Richards QC will talk about Cheshire West and DoLS, Joanne Clement will be talking about the ‘Interaction between the Court of Protection and Community Care Duties’ (a topic I’m still mulling over), District Judge Elizabeth Batten will give a ‘view from the Bench’ and Tor Butler-Cole will be giving a case law update.  (I can’t find the flier online, so I’ve put it in a zipped folder with the booking forms here.)

I’ve been sent an exciting looking book to review on The Law and Ethics of Dementia.  It’s a collection of papers edited by Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring and Israel Doron.  It looks really interesting, but also big, so it may take a while to digest…  

Speaking of book reviews, I have recently been enjoying using the newly published 6th edition of the Mental Capacity Act Manual by Richard Jones.  A bit like the instruction manual for a complex gadget, the MCA Manual is all about useability.  Here’s a sad little story to tell you how useful it is: a few years ago I needed a new handbag, and I had two requirements.  The first – that it had a long shoulder strap so I could wear it whilst cycling.  The second – that it was small, but still big enough to fit a copy of the MCA Manual in it.  I was taking it to so many meetings and events, as it was invaluable for answering horrible questions – you know that whatever obscure case or section of the MCA comes up, there will be something useful and clear written about it.  And it’s now all updated to include all the big dramas of the last year – Cheshire, the House of Lords report, and so on.  My only quibble is that in order to fit it all in, the print is quite small and makes me wonder if I need reading glasses; but any bigger and it wouldn’t fit in my handbag any more, you see the dilemma?

So, apologies for not to have anything profound to say, coming up in the next few months should be some stuff on transparency in the Court of Protection, some data which some brilliant summer students helped us to collect on how often local authorities use the Court of Protection’s welfare jurisdiction (if you responded to that, thank you so much, we’re still crunching the numbers but they’re very interesting), and various other MCA and CRPD related ponderings…


2 thoughts on “Interesting conferences and books

  1. Lucy, I had a similar attachment to Richard Jones’ Mental Health Act Manual. At one stage I was buying them in twos, one for me and one for the judge. Then in fours, to accommodate hearings in the Court of Appeal. Expensive business, especially as not all the judges returned their copies (no names will be mentioned …).

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