Court of Protection application for former Russian spy

The attempted murder of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on 4 March has been widely publicised.

Mr and Miss Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury with a chemical weapon reported to be a military-grade Novichok nerve agent.

It was reported that Mr and Miss Skripal were unconscious in hospital for quite some time following the attack. During this time, they could not consent to medical procedures (including tests) and doctors were only able to act in their best clinical interests. The government was therefore unable to obtain blood samples from the victims in order to carry our testing for the nerve agents.

The Secretary of State issued an urgent court of protection application for approval to obtain the blood samples. This was granted by Mr Justice Williams who was unable to conclude the personal views of the victims but in his reasoning explained that “an individual subjected to such an attack would want to see it fully and properly investigated” and pointed to the idea that a victim was likely to want to see justice done if possible.

Reports state that Mr and Miss Skripal are now both conscious and doing much better.

The full judgement can be found here.

Rebecca McCarthy is a solicitor in the private client department at Barker Gotelee, Ipswich solicitors.

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