Q&As

How does the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak impact on transparency orders in the Court of Protection?

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Published on LexisPSL on 06/04/2020

The following Private Client Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How does the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak impact on transparency orders in the Court of Protection?
  • How does the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak impact on transparency orders in the Court of Protection?

How does the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak impact on transparency orders in the Court of Protection?

How does the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak impact on transparency orders in the Court of Protection?

Mr Justice Hayden issued guidance on remote hearings in the Court of Protection on 31 March 2020. In this guidance, Hayden J made it clear that transparency is central to the philosophy of the Court of Protection and, while it will be difficult to ensure that a Skype hearing is as accessible to the public as an ‘open court’, this does not mean that transparency can become a casualty of our present public health emergency. If anything, the present emergency enhances the need for continuing press scrutiny, representing, as it does, the conduit by which we preserve the fundamental right of freedom of expression.

Having said this, the provisions of Practice Direction 4C: Transparency (PD 4C) relating to public hearings are clearly unworkable in the current environment and will need to be disapplied in cases where a remote hearing is ordered. Where an established application moves to a remote hearing, any transparency order will need to be discharged and specific directions made.

Hayden J

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