Update: Two Pilot Practice Directions launched in Court of Protection: Case Management & s.49 Reports

The attached pilot Practice Directions were published in advance of two pilots commencing in the Court of Protection (CoP), one in relation to case management and one specifically in relation to section 49 reports. The pilots commenced on 1 September 2016, though the pilot Practice Directions were initially published in draft in March to allow practitioners to prepare for a significant change in case management practice.

Case Management Pilot

The pilot scheme sets out three case management pathways for CoP proceedings; 1) a Property and Affairs pathway, 2) a Health and Welfare pathway, and 3) a hybrid pathway for cases that have elements of both Property and Health.

The pilot Practice Direction will place an obligation on applicants to provide improved analysis of the issues at the start of a case, allowing for more robust case management decisions to be taken at the outset and all issues to be identified at the earliest opportunity in proceedings. It will also seek to encourage early resolution of cases, to reduce the number and length of hearings required in contested cases and to promote judicial continuity. The pilot is expected to run for up to 12 months.

S.49 Pilot (new PD 14E)

A separate pilot Practice Direction dealing with reports commissioned under section 49 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 will also commence in September.