A pilot Practice Direction has been published in draft, in advance of a case management pilot commencing in the Court of Protection (CoP) in June 2016 to allow practitioners to prepare for a significant change in case management practice.
The pilot scheme sets out three case management pathways for CoP proceedings:
a Property and Affairs pathway,
a Health and Welfare pathway, and
a hybrid pathway for cases that have elements of both Property and Health.
Amendments may be made to the draft before the pilot commences to take account of observations made on it or for other reasons.
However, the pilot Practice Direction will place an obligation on applicants to provide improved analysis of the issues at the start of a case, allowing for more robust case management decisions to be taken at the outset and all issues to be identified at the earliest opportunity in proceedings. It will also seek to encourage early resolution of cases, to reduce the number and length of hearings required in contested cases and to promote judicial continuity. The pilot is expected to run for up to 12 months.
Observations or queries on the pilot should be sent to Joanna Furlong at the Ministry of Justice: email@example.com
A separate pilot Practice Direction dealing with reports commissioned under section 49 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 will also commence in June and is published now for information only.The two pilot Practice Directions are available to download below:
A more detailed analysis of the case management pilot Practice Direction by Chris Stevenson will be published next week.