Court of Appeal to hear case of significant interest to case managers tomorrow

A case of significant interest to case managers will be heard in the Court of Appeal tomorrow.

Gerard Martin QC and Matthew Stockwell from Exchange Chambers are representing the Institute of Registered Case Managers (IRCM), on a Pro Bono basis, as intervenors in a case regarding sexual capacity and support from case managers.

The IRCM represents the interests of the three largest organisations of case managers in England and Wales, its membership having also been opened to include NHS representation.

In their written submissions, Gerard Martin QC and Matthew Stockwell explain how, as an intervenor, the IRCM does not align itself with the position of any of the parties to the Appeal. It merely seeks to inform the Court of the views of its membership on the issue of clients wishing to access sex workers for the purposes of sexual intimacy and intercourse.

The written submissions highlight the IRCM’s concern that the profession needs greater clarity about whether case managers may facilitate the wishes of their clients who have capacity to decide to have sex with a sex worker, without fear of criminal prosecution.

The issue has come up for regular debate within the case management profession for the last ten years or more. It closely concerns the profession because it would ordinarily be the case manager who would be responsible for organising access to the sex worker, if the decision to access such a person had been approved.

The written submissions go on to explain how a recent membership survey by the IRCM points to a range of potential benefits to be derived from case managers facilitating the access of a client to a sex worker (or supporting intimate contact or sexual relations more generally). Further, it demonstrates the increase in risk to the client or other family members where through fear of prosecution the case manager leaves the family of the client, or client himself to fulfil these needs with little or no professional help.

The hearing is taking place on Thursday 29 July 2021 at the Court of Appeal.

Thanks to Exchange Chambers for the information included in this blog.