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Judge hopes to dispel myth of ‘secrecy’ in court of protection cases

24th October 2013

Sir Charles, who became head of the Court of Protection in 2011, told the conference that the public should be able, if they so wish, to read anonymised court judgements so that they can understand “the process and the care that is taken in reaching decisions on behalf of those who can’t reach them for themselves”.

He also told The Independent that the public are gradually getting more access to the court and that the difficulty would be in how to report the cases. He said that responsible reporting should be encouraged.

He added, “I have never totally understood why the local authorities don’t want these cases reported because it would bring out all the difficulties that they have to face.

“There’s a perception that [the court is] just interfering and removing people from their families but that’s so far from the case as to be laughable. It is a last resort.”

Speaking to the solicitors for the elderly and the court of protection practitioners present at the conference the High Court judge urged them to encourage judges to make cases public. He said that work was being carried out to see how information could be reported where an agreement is not contested, and therefore not formalised by a care order ruling.

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