The amendments include changing the way appeals are dealt
with. A wider range of judges will deal with appeals by way of allocation from
a court decision to one of three tiers of judges within the Court of Protection.
This enables appeals to be dealt with within the Court of Protection instead of
the Court of Appeal which is a great improvement.
This change has come about because of the anticipated
increase in Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding Orders following the recent
P (By His Litigation Friend the Official Solicitor) v Cheshire West and Chester Council and Another; P and Q (By Their Litigation Friend the Official Solicitor) v Surrey County Council  UKSC 19,  COPLR 313.
Application permission procedure
The changes have clarified the procedures for applying for
permission to proceed. They have also simplified the procedure for removing the
requirement for permission in some cases. Under Rule 51 permission of the court
is not required:
(a) Where an application is made by –
Official Solicitor; or
(b) where the application concerns –
property and affairs;
lasting power of attorney which is, or purports to be, created under the Act;
instrument which is, or purports to be, an enduring power of attorney;
Two importance changes here are that applications relating
to property and affairs are now much clearer - permission is not needed.
Secondly that permission is not needed where judicial authorisation for the
deprivation of P’s liberty is sought.
(c) Where an application is made under section
21A of the Act;
(d) Where an application is made for an order
under section 16(2)(a) of the Act, which is to be relied on to authorise the
deprivation of P’s liberty pursuant to section 4A(3) of the Act;
(e) Where an application is made in accordance
with Part 10;
(f) Where a person files an acknowledgement of
service or notification in accordance with this Part or Part 9, for any order
proposed that is different from that sought by the applicant or;
(g) In any other case specified for this purpose
in a practice direction.
Where permission is required the applicant must apply for
permission when making an application. The previous requirement that a separate
permission form needs to be filed (from July 2015) will be abolished.
The amendment introduces greater flexibility relating to new
rules on sharing information. Where there are procedural gaps in the Court of Protection
Rules (CPR), there is now provision to allow the court to refer to not only the
CPR but also the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR), with a view to give
directions for filling such a gap in the proceedings before it.
This is important because it allows the judge to choose
whether the appropriate solution to the problem they are faced with lies within
the CPR or the FPR.
The introduction of free standing rules
Part 10 of the Act deals with Applications within
proceedings. There are now freestanding rules for Security for Costs and
Service out of Jurisdiction. The provisions model on those in the CPR with
alterations to reflect the nature of Court of Protection proceedings.
recent changes seem to be focused on participation in the proceedings and
transparency within the Rules. The area of Court of Protection has come a long
way since 2007 and these recent changes reflect the issues experienced and the
need for amendment in the old Act. The amendments relating to appeals come into
effect on 6 April 2015, while the remaining amendments come into effect on 1 July 2015.