Judgment was handed down today in the High Court case of Health Service Executive of Ireland v IM and Kent County Council. Christine Cooper acted for the successful local authority in the case concerning where a 92-year-old woman, IM, was habitually resident.
The case was brought by the Health Service of Ireland.
Background to the case
IM had lived in Kent most of her life. She moved to Ireland in 2018.
She came to the attention of the Irish authorities when she was living in a care home. Upon investigation, it emerged that her house had been sold and she had moved to Ireland with her grandson who held lasting powers of attorney.
There had been serious irregularities in the way that he had managed her finances. The Irish authorities argued that IM had been taken to Ireland unlawfully and remained habitually resident in England. If this were the case, jurisdiction for decisions about her health and welfare would be conferred upon the Court of Protection (rather than the High Court in Ireland).
Christine Cooper successfully argued that the available evidence demonstrated that IM had capacity at the time of the move and had wanted to be with her grandson.