The Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2015 bring about a fundamental reform of the court’s processes.
The act aims to ensure that all decisions made on behalf of those who lack the capacity to make their own decisions are done in their best interests.
Some of the act’s amendments relating to appeals, such as changing the way appeals are dealt with, came into force on 6 April. The remaining, more significant, changes will be implemented in July.
The most important change is rule 3A, which encourages those who lack mental capacity to make decisions (P) to be more involved in court proceedings, and the court will consider making directions to enable them to be so. The court must actively consider whether P’s interests are being sufficiently represented in the proceedings.
The court could direct anything from Rule 3A below:
- P should be joined as a party
- P’s participation should be secured by the appointment of an accredited legal representative to represent P in the proceedings and to discharge such other functions as the court may direct
- P’s participation should be secured by the appointment of a representative whose function shall be to provide the court with information as to the matters set out in section 4(6) of the Act and to discharge such other functions as the court may direct
- P should have the opportunity to address (directly or indirectly) the judge determining the application and, if so directed, the circumstances in which that should occur
- P’s interests and position can properly be secured without any direction under subparagraph (a) – (d) being made or by the making of an alternative direction meeting the overriding objective
See an explanatory memorandum at legislation.gov.uk
See also: A guide to powers of attorney