mfg Blog

News and Events

Court of Protection pilot is extended

  • Posted

A pilot scheme which was started in an attempt to improve understanding of how the Court of Protection operates is to be extended.

Last year, trial arrangements were introduced which gave journalists and members of the public greater access to hearings.

This pilot was originally scheduled to run for six months and has been extended, with officials confirming it will now continue until August.

It is understood that the success of the more open approach will be assessed to determine whether the system should be made permanent.

The advocates of the scheme include Sir James Munby, the Court of Protection’s most senior Judge.

When he first announced the pilot last year, he said that it was logical to offer greater transparency, so long as there were safeguards to ensure the privacy of individuals.

In announcing the change, Sir James seemed to be mindful that large sections of the public know very little about how the Court of Protection – which makes rulings in the cases of individuals lacking mental capacity – operates.

There had also been accusations of undue secrecy around some of the more contentious decisions that the court had made.

But his comments on privacy acknowledge that greater access does not sit comfortably with everybody. The judiciary had already made clear that the pilot would only continue so long as the reporters who attended proceedings acted responsibly.