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Government launches consultation on allocation of ‘straightforward applications’ in the Court of Protection

Consultation runs until 20th September 2011

The government has published a consultation paper proposing that some decisions on what it describes as 'straightforward applications' to the Court of Protection are taken by authorised court officers.

At present all applications to the Court must be decided by a judge, even if the issue involved is not contentious, such as an undisputed application for a person to become a 'property and affairs deputy' in order to make financial decisions on behalf of a relative or friend.

The Ministry of Justice says that judges will continue to take all decisions which relate to health and welfare issues, but the consultation proposes that some types of application could be dealt with by authorised court officers.

The Ministry expects this to reduce the time it takes to deal with routine matters and improve the service to users, often some of the most vulnerable members of society whose interests are best served by having their cases processed as quickly as possible. The change would also free up judicial time to focus on the more difficult and sensitive issues the Court has to deal with.

The consultation runs until 20 September 2011.