On Friday 21st June 2019, Dr Anton van Dellen and Ian Cain presented their joint paper ‘The unfriendly Litigation Friend and maintaining confidentiality’ at the Third International Advocacy Conference at Nottingham Trent University.
Representing both authors, Ian Cain attended the conference entitled ‘Advocacy and Vulnerable Witnesses: 20 years on from the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999’ in order to present a 45-minute session on the findings of their paper. The conference, jointly hosted by Nottingham Law School and The Advocates Gateway, was attended by over 75 delegates including Lord Justice Green and Lord Mathews.
The joint paper focused on how the Courts have grappled with the process of appointing a Litigation Friend where a Litigation Friend is reluctant to be appointed or where there are doubts about a litigant’s lack of capacity. The role of the Official Solicitor in acting as a Litigation Friend or assisting in the assessment of capacity was explored along with the potential increased use of confidentiality clubs to limit those who may have access to a litigant’s confidential medical records during the capacity assessment.