A pilot scheme which was devised to encourage greater transparency in the Court of Protection has been extended for another 12 months.
The court, which helps make decisions on behalf those who don’t have capacity themselves, had previously faced criticism for undue secrecy.
In an effort to challenge the reputation, a pilot scheme was launched in January which would give both the press and general public greater access to hearings.
Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has also altered the content of court lists, which gives reporters and other interested parties the opportunity to make a more informed decision about whether they should attend a particular hearing.
When the changes were introduced, Judges gave assurances that anonymity orders would still be used to prevent an intrusion into the affairs of those whose cases have been heard.
There was also a clear warning to journalists that if they did not behave responsibly the experiment would be quickly curtailed.
More than six months on from the start of the new approach, it has been confirmed that the scheme is now likely to continue in all regions of England and Wales until August next year.
HMCTS will then consider evidence of how the pilot scheme has gone and make a decision about whether to make the new arrangements permanent, revert to the old system or look at an option somewhere between the two.
At Lester Morrill, our specialist Court of Protection solicitors are experienced in working with vulnerable individuals and their families, friends and care teams to ensure the best possible outcome. We currently manage cases involving private clients, solicitors, local authorities, referrals from the court and case managers. We also advise on matters relating to health and welfare, receiving referrals from family members and advocates. Please contact our team for further information.