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Testimonial Injustice and Vulnerability: A Qualitative Analysis of Participation in the Court of Protection

Lindsey, Jaime (2018) 'Testimonial Injustice and Vulnerability: A Qualitative Analysis of Participation in the Court of Protection.' Social and Legal Studies. ISSN 0964-6639

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Abstract

This article explores participation in Court of Protection (COP) proceedings by people considered vulnerable. The paper is based on original data obtained from observing COP proceedings and reviewing COP case files. It is argued that the observed absence of the subject of proceedings is a form of testimonial injustice, that is, a failure to value a person in their capacity as a giver of knowledge. The issue of competence to give evidence is considered but it is argued that it is not the formal evidential rules that prohibit a vulnerable adult from giving evidence. Instead, it is the result of a persistent assumption that they are inherently vulnerable and therefore lack credibility as a knowledge giver. This assumption results in the voices of vulnerable adults being routinely absent from legal proceedings. It is argued that having a voice in the courtroom is essential and has a number of intrinsic and instrumental benefits. The paper concludes with a discussion about the implications of the research, including the current trend towards the increased use of special measures, and recommends a presumption in favour of the subject of COP proceedings giving evidence.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Participation, legal proceedings, Court of Protection, mental capacity, vulnerability, testimonial injustice, evidence
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 13:20
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2018 12:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22697

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