COVID-19: Court of Protection issues guidance on visiting P and hearings

March 19th, 2020 by Jonathan Auburn

The Court of Protection has issued two important pieces of guidance in the last two days.

On Tuesday 17 March 2020 Mr Justice Hayden, Vice President of the Court of Protection, issued guidance on visits to P. The guidance provides that “visits should only be made to P where that is assessed as absolutely necessary”. Further, “Alternative arrangements should always be considered first, such as telephone FaceTime and Skype conferencing”. “Visits to care home are to be strongly discouraged” [emphasis in original].

Yesterday, Wednesday 18 March 2020, Mr Justice Hayden issued wider guidance on hearings. This includes that –
– hearings of less than 2 hours will be by telephone;
– longer hearings will proceed unless the judge decides otherwise;
– all involved must consider other options, including Skype and telephone conferences;
– if directions cannot be agreed then a hearing without attendance should be sought.

The guidance also deals with issues such as acceptance of electronic signatures, notification of P, service by email, scanned documents and electronic bundles, and capacity assessments undertaken via video.

Jonathan Auburn

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