The Participation of P in Court Proceedings

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Initially the Court of Protection (CoP) was established to make decisions under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA), including determining whether a person has the mental capacity to make a decision for themselves, and, if not, determining what course of action is in their best interests.

Due to their lack of capacity, it may not always be appropriate for P to be directly involved with these proceedings. 

However, their wishes and feelings should always be held in serious consideration. 

Because, there is no “one size fits all” approach to ensuring that P’s voice is heard by the court and it will depend on P’s own ability and willingness to be involved. 

Although, there are certain factors that must be considered when deciding how best to incorporate P into the proceedings. 

In fact, the guidance is unequivocally clear that the court must be properly informed about all aspects of P, including their current and past wishes and feelings.

Court of Protection Rules

Rule 1.2 of the court of protection rules 2017 makes provision to:

  1. ensure that in every case the question of what is required to ensure that P’s “voice” is properly before the court is addressed; and
  2. provide flexibility allowing for a range of different methods to achieve this, with the purpose of ensuring that the court is in a position to make a properly informed decision at all relevant stages of a case. 

As P is required to be placed at the centre of proceedings, their wishes and feelings are of paramount importance. 

Moreover, these views can be provided in a number of ways, depending on P’s ability and the stage of proceedings; it can be provided to the court in the form of a witness statement, either from P’s own solicitors or from their advocate or relatives. 

Of course, P is also entitled to address the Judge and the court directly. 

Undoubtedly, the legal world can be intimidating and so P may not always feel confident in attending hearings in person. 

As such, a more informal Judge’s attendance can be arranged, so that P can personally outline their wishes; this can be conducted where P feels most comfortable and so may occur in their own home or placement.

For more information, get in touch today.

In the meantime, please check out our Court of Protection Solicitors page.

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