Brighton Family Challenging Current Law

25 March 2019, 10:41 | Updated: 25 March 2019, 10:43

Court of Protection

A hearing is due to start this week looking at whether parents should still decide what is best when teenagers with learning disabilities become adults.

Three families, including one from Brighton, are staging a "challenge the current law" at a hearing in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions, in London.

Solicitors at law firm Irwin Mitchell are mounting arguments on behalf of the three families and want amendments to a code of practice which governs judges' interpretation of the Mental Capacity Act.

Lawyers say parents have decision-making responsibility for children with learning disabilities but mental capacity legislation says decisions must be taken "collectively by everyone interested in their welfare" when teenagers turn 18.

Lawyers say that means families can be ignored.

Disability rights campaigner Rosa Monckton, of Brighton, whose 24-year-old daughter, Domenica, has Down's syndrome and who was a friend of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is one of the parents involved.