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Court of Protection opened to the media

Date:13 NOV 2009

The media are to be granted access to proceedings of the Court of Protection following a High Court ruling yesterday.

Several media organisations applied to attend and report on a case involving a young adult, described in the judgment as famous, who is severely disabled and has learning difficulties which have left him incapable of making decisions over his life.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Hedley said the media should be allowed to attend future hearings at the court, provided they have good reason to do so. However, they will remain closed to the public due to the sensitive nature of the hearings.

The Court of Protection has the power to make decisions in relation to the property, healthcare and personal welfare of adults (and children in a few cases) who lack capacity. The Court also has the power to make declarations about whether someone has the capacity to make a particular decision.

Mr Justice Hedley ruled that the man's name, his talent, disability, and reliance on others for his care and management of his affairs, now and in the future, could all be reported at the hearing when it takes place.

However, Mr Justice Hedley has granted leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal.