Judge defends Court of Protection as not “a sinister, secret court”

Mr Justice Mostyn has defended the Court of Protection, saying he wanted to dispel the myth it is “sinister” and “secret”.

The Court of Protection is currently undergoing a pilot scheme which sees the majority of cases held in open court with anonymity orders in place to protect the people involved, whereas previously only rare exceptions such as serious medical cases have been held in public.

The pilot scheme will provide evidence to assess whether the Court should in future hold it’s hearings in private or public and whether access should be given to the media but not the public.

According to The Mirror, Mr Justice Mostyn added: “I want to dispel the idea, which continues to be peddled by certain sections of the press, that the Court of Protection is a secret, sinister court which dispenses justice behind closed doors.”

Bosses at an NHS hospitals trust with responsibility for the woman’s care had asked the judge, who also sits in the Family Division of the High Court and is based in London, to approve amputations under the terms of mental capacity legislation.

Specialists outlined a range of complex medical problems and said the woman was largely bed-ridden, saying parts of her feet had already been amputated.

The judge was told that, if her legs were not amputated, infection would almost certainly set in and she could die. Doctors also said she would have a better chance of regaining movement if fitted with artificial limbs.

Mr Justice Mostyn said he was satisfied, on the basis of medical evidence, that the woman had an impairment of the mind and lacked the mental capacity to make decisions about surgery.

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