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Changes to Court of Protection processes

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The main provisions of the Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2015 (published on 4 March 2015) came into effect on 1 July 2015. These are the first substantive changes to the court rules since they came into force in October 2007.

The full text of the Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2015 can be viewed here.

The rule changes, along with supporting practice directions and new forms, form the first tranche of changes arising from the ad-hoc rules committee set up in July 2014 under the guidance of the vice president of the Court of Protection, Mr Justice Charles. 

The most important new forms and the practice directions can be found here.

The key changes can be summarised as:

  • New simplified forms with new annexes to provide information relevant to the specific type of application;
  • An end to the requirement to make separate applications for permission, and the end of form COP2 Permission;
  • Reduction of the time limits for service notification and responding to applications reduced from 21 days to 14, which will enable us to process routine applications in a shorter time;
  • Changes to the way P is notified about applications and other matters, so the court is provided with information about P’s wishes and feelings to inform its decisions;
  • New rules governing how P takes part in the proceedings, with options ranging from addressing the court directly to appointing a litigation friend;
  • Classification into 3 tiers of the judges who can sit in the Court of Protection, and clarification about which judge to allocate certain applications, appeals and applications for reconsideration; and
  • Changes to the rules on reconsideration so decisions of tier 1 judges (district judges or the equivalent) can be by any judge of the court.

Should you require any assistance please contact Claire Tomlin on 0117 930 9529.