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Judge promises pilot scheme to make Court of Protection "more transparent"

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The Lord Chief Justice has said that he wants to encourage greater transparency in cases involving Power of Attorney.

Lord Thomas, the UK’s leading Judge, has promised to open up the Court of Protection to increased public scrutiny, following previous concerns that too many controversial decisions were taken behind closed doors.

Three years ago, there was widespread disquiet over a case in which one woman was handed a prison sentence at a so-called “secret hearing.”

There was a sufficient backlash that Judges were subsequently required to make public any ruling in which an individual was sent to prison.

Now Lord Thomas seems to acknowledge that still more needs to be done to ensure that the process is kept as open as possible.

Speaking this week, he said: “It is intended at the beginning of the New Year we will run a pilot trying there to make certain that area is transparent.

“It seems to me the Court of Protection and the whole problem of us making certain that those who no longer have their faculties and where you have someone who is acting on their behalf, it is essential that that area is also open and transparent.

“Over the past year, I had one case which worried me very considerably where I felt very much that the fact everything was closed did not provide the extra assurances of shining the light from the outside.”