Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has today handed down the long-awaited post-Cheshire ruling, setting out how the Court of Protection should handle deprivation of liberty applications
In his judgment, Re X and Others (Deprivation of Liberty)  EWCOP 25
, Sir James Munby emphasises that his decision is not an analysis of the Cheshire West decision
, but is instead focused on the 'very significant increase in the number of cases
in the Court of Protection relating to deprivation of liberty'.
'The immediate objective, in my judgment, is to
devise, if this is feasible, a standardised, and so far as possible ‘streamlined’,
process, compatible with all the requirements of Article 5, which will enable
the Court of Protection to deal with all DoL cases in a timely but just and fair
way. The process needs, if this is feasible, to distinguish between those DoL
cases that can properly be dealt with on the papers, and without an oral
hearing, and those that require an oral hearing.' (para )
At the initial directions hearing on 8 May 2014, Sir James Munby, with the assistance of counsel, formulated 25 questions as to how the Court of Protection should handle deprivation of liberty applications.
In Re X
, the President's preliminary judgment, he addresses most of his questions, concentrating on the issues directly related to his 'streamlining' objective.
The full judgment, including the 25 question Annex, is available to download here
An in-depth analysis of the judgment, by Jess Flanagan of Clarke Willmott
, will be published by Family Law shortly.