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Sir James Munby speaks on Court of Protection reforms

08th November 2013

The President spoke about his thoughts for reform of the Court of Protection (CoP) detailing how he wished to use more CoP ticket-holding Circuit judges for personal welfare matters. He also spoke about his hopes for localisation of CoP matters with a number of regional offices obtaining their own seals so that files would no longer have to be sent to London in all matters.

Among other issues, Sir James highlighted the issue of transparency as his most pressing concern. Along with the family court, he said he wished to see the publication of many more judgments from the CoP. He also raised the issue of disparity in allowed media attendance between family courts and CoP. The rules in relation to press attendance for CoP hearings date from 2007, whereas for the family court rules were updated in 2010.

Sir James questioned how public confidence could be high in a system which had one approach for family courts and a different one in Court of Protection cases.

The President asked attendees for their thoughts and comments on changes and said, ultimately, that the rate of reform in the CoP would accelerate.

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