About the Court of Protection

The Act provides for a new Court of Protection to make decisions in relation to the  property and affairs and  healthcare and personal welfare of adults (and children in a few cases) who lack capacity. The Court also has the power to make declarations about whether someone has the capacity to make a particular decision.

The Court has the same powers, rights, privileges and authority in relation to mental capacity matters as the High Court. It is a superior court of record and is able to set precedents (set examples to follow in future cases).

The Court of Protection has the powers to:

  • decide whether a person has capacity to make a particular decision for themselves;
  • make declarations, decisions or orders on financial or welfare matters affecting people who lack capacity to make such decisions;
  • appoint deputies to make decisions for people lacking capacity to make those decisions;
  • decide whether an LPA or EPA is valid; and
  • remove deputies or attorneys who fail to carry out their duties, and
  • hear cases concerning objections to register an  LPA or EPA and make decisions about whether or not an LPA or EPA is valid.

Details of the fees charged by the court, and the circumstances in which the fees may be waived or remitted, are available from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

In reaching any decision, the Court must apply the statutory principles set out in the PDF Mental Capacity Act. It must also make sure its decision is in the best interests of the person who lacks capacity.

The President of the Court of Protection is Sir Nicholas Wall, the President of the Family Division who succeeded Sir Mark Potter on 1st April 2010. Sir Andrew Morritt, the Chancellor of the Chancery Division is the Vice President.

The day to day running of the court is the responsibility of the Senior Judge. Denzil Lush (formerly Master of the Court of Protection) has been appointed as Senior Judge.

The President has nominated a number of additional High Court, Circuit and District Judges to hear Court of Protection cases. In addition to the Senior Judge, there are five District Judges who hear cases full time in the Court’s central registry in Archway. The other Judges will hear cases part time in the courts where they are based across England and Wales.

If you need to contact the Court for any reason you can call their enquiry line on 0300 456 4600.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)

DOLS – the new provisions to safeguard people living in hospitals or care homes came into force on 1 April 2009. More information is available from link to external website Department of Health website. You can also find the forms and guidance on the link to external website HMCS website (under the option 'work type' select Court of Protection).

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