Court of Protection opens to journalists for the first time

The Court of Protection opened its doors to journalists for the first time yesterday, after a successful legal challenge from The Independent.

The court, which overseas cases involving those considered too vulnerable for mainstream courts – such as the mentally vulnerable – had previously conducted all its cases behind close doors.

Yesterday The Independent was able to report on a mother’s fight to have her severely disabled son returned to her, following a disagreement with health professionals.

Neither the mother, her son, nor the local authorities can be named though the details of the case were allowed to be published

This follows a successful legal challenge in the Court of Appeal by The Independent to allow for transparency in the courts.

The perceived lack of transparency over the Court – which hears approximately 23,000 cases a year-  had come under much criticism (the BBC), receiving 3,000 complaints in the first 18 months of its operation.

In March this year the Court Appeal ruled that the presence of journalists “will ensure that matters of legitimate public interest may be drawn to the attention of the judge”.

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