In the Media

Senior Judges to ?simplify? Court of Protection

PUBLISHED December 7, 2009

Two senior judges have been appointed to ?simplify? the running of the Court of Protection, which controls the finances of some of society?s most vulnerable people.

The court, which bars the media and the public from its deliberations and rarely publishes its judgments, has faced nearly 4,000 complaints since it was set up two years ago.

Mr Justice Charles and Mrs Justice Proudman will chair a committee to examine whether the court provides an ?effective service?.

Their appointments follow the intervention of Justice Secretary Jack Straw after The Mail on Sunday highlighted huge flaws with the court?s system.

The court is also accused of mismanaging the £2.7billion it controls on behalf of vulnerable people ? including those suffering from dementia and other forms of mental incapacity.

The court?s president Sir Mark Potter said: ?The Court of Protection has faced a number of difficulties in its first two years and court users have complained that court procedure is too formal particularly in relation to straightforward financial matters which are not contentious.

?My aim is to create a set of rules, practice directions and forms that are clear and simple for lay and professional users to understand.

'Where possible, the committee should simplify the handling of routine property and affairs cases, for example by slimming down some of the procedures.?