The Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2015 come into force on 1 July 2015, representing the first significant reform of the processes of the court since its inception in 2007.

The most important change is the new rule 3A added to the Court of Protection Rules 2007.  Rule 3A requires, in each case, the CoP to consider, either on its own initiative or on the application of any person, whether it should make one or more of one of a number of directions relating to P’s participation. These directions include:

  • P being a party;
  • P’s participation being secured by the appointment of a representative whose primary function is to give P a voice by relaying information as to P’s wishes and feelings;
  • specific provision for P to address (directly or indirectly) the judge determining the application; and
  • no direction or an alternative direction if P’s interests and position can properly be secured.

Other changes include the following.

  • A wider range of judges to deal with the expected increase in deprivation of liberty safeguarding orders (DoLS) following the Cheshire West judgment. Judges will be divided into three tiers, with appeals being able to lie from a judge in a lower tier to a judge in a higher tier.
  • Removal of the need for a separate application where permission is required, and a reduction in the number of situations in which permission is required.
  • Reduction in some time limits to speed up the process.