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Capacity and transparency: the Court of Protection and the media

Date:27 APR 2016
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Sir James Munby is well known as a promoter of transparency in the family courts but perhaps lesser so as being equally enthusiastic with regard to the Court of Protection (CoP). The transparency agenda has recently been dramatically advanced in the CoP by a pilot scheme in which the presumption of a closed court is reversed. The announcement and implementation of this pilot coincided with unusually high press coverage of one CoP case – ‘the woman who lost her sparkle’.

In V v Associated Newspapers [2016]  EWCOP 21 Mr Justice Charles Deputy President and Judge in Charge of the CoP deals decisively with both developments. The application was by a number of news organisations to lift reporting restrictions on identifying and naming ‘C’ following her death in late 2015. An added dimension for family lawyers is Charles J’s attention to the probability of serious and long-term harm and distress that C’s teenage daughter would suffer if the family was identified. So far as the pilot is concerned family lawyers might also be wondering about the implications on the future of family courts. In August...

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