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Court of Protection

Justice written question – answered on 18th July 2013.

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Photo of Rob Flello Rob Flello Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) how many cases were considered by the Court of Protection in each year since May 2005;

(2) in how many cases the Court of Protection has made a finding of contempt of court in each year since May 2005;

(3) what the cost of representations on behalf of the state in cases coming before the Court of Protection was in each year since May 2005;

(4) what the cost of running the Court of Protection was in each year since May 2005;

(5) what the (a) longest, (b) shortest and (c) average time was for cases coming before the Court of Protection to be heard in each year since May 2005.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

The Court of Protection is a unique court dealing with some of the most vulnerable people in society. Its specialist judges are called on to make decisions in cases where there is a concern a person may not have the mental capacity to act in their own interests—for example about their property, financial affairs, healthcare or personal welfare. The Court of Protection is a Superior Court of Record and takes its place with other civil, family and criminal jurisdictions, but is separate from the county court and High Court and has its own set of rules.

From May 2005 to October 2007, the previous Court of Protection was an office of the Supreme Court and like for like figures about the number of cases considered each year are therefore not available. The current Court of Protection came into being on 1 October 2007 following the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. MOJ publishes applications made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 made at the Court of Protection from 2008:

  Number of applications
2008 22,583
2009 19,093
2010 20,459
2011 23,538
2012 24,877

We do not have the data linked to be able to provide accurate information on the duration of cases coming to the Court in its various locations in England and Wales, since October 2007. We are currently scoping how this can be achieved.

The Ministry of Justice does not publish figures for contempt of court offences in the Court of Protection. This specific offence is more detailed than the offence group statistics published in the annual ‘Criminal Justice Statistics’ publication. To collect data on specific cases in the Court would be disproportionately expensive, as it would entail researching each case that had been heard in the Court of Protection throughout England and Wales.

There are occasions where NHS trusts and local authorities are involved in Court of Protection cases. However, the Ministry of Justice does not have any information regarding the costs involved, as collecting it from each NHS trust or local authority would be disproportionately expensive.

When the current Court came into being on 1 October 2007, its running costs were shared with those of the Office of the Public Guardian. I will write to the hon. Member further on this point as the information regarding the courts costs at this time are not readily to hand. On 1 April 2009 responsibility for the Court transferred to HMCTS. Running costs since that date have been:

2009-10: £3.9 million

2010-11: £5.0 million

2011-12: £4.4 million

2012-13: £4. l million.

The full cost of running the Court of Protection (including allocated overhead costs) has been calculated as part of the workings for a fees and charges note to the HMCTS Annual Report and Accounts, and the HMCS predecessor reports, since 2009-10. Equivalent data are not available prior to 2009-10.

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Peter Haslegrave
Posted on 19 Jul 2013 8:09 am (Report this annotation)

How much legally-aided Court of Proection work does Helen Grant's law practise get?