Important judgment from Munby on implication of Cheshire West

1″. I am concerned solely with a narrower but more pressing issue: the practical and procedural implications for the Court of Protection of what all informed opinion agrees is the large increase in its case-load which will follow in consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision.

5. 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.

7. An ad hoc, non-statutory, committee (“the Committee”) has recently been set up to review the Court of Protection Rules 2007 (“the Rules”) and associated practice directions and forms.

8. This is a preliminary judgment, setting out briefly my answers to those of the 25 questions which require an early decision if the objective I have identified is to be carried forward. It concentrates on the issues directly relevant to what I will call the ‘streamlined’ process. It sets out no more than the broad framework of what, in my judgment, is required to ensure that the ‘streamlined’ process is Article 5 compliant. Additional, detailed, work needs to be carried out as soon as possible by the Court of Protection in conjunction, where appropriate, with the Committee. “