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Guardian: Court of protection should be open to media, says leading judge

November 7th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Legal, Politics, Press freedom and ethics

The processes of England’s most private court should be opened up to public and media scrutiny, the head of the court of protection Sir Nicholas Wall has said in an interview with the Guardian.

The media has recently been granted increased access to the proceedings of the court, which makes decisions in the cases of people deemed vulnerable or unable to make decisions for themselves, but on the rare occasions that the media is granted access judges still decide on a case-by-cases what they can have access to and report on, and at what stages of a case.

Wall told the Guardian:

It seems to me a matter of public interest. The public is, after all, entitled to know what’s going on. Locking up a mentally disabled person is a very serious thing to do and we don’t want people quietly locked up in private.

He added:

The decision about opening up the court is very fraught and people have very strong views. My entirely personal view is that provided we can protect the confidentiality of litigants and their families, there’s not a reason we can’t hear the cases in the presence of the media.

Read the full report on Guardian.co.uk at this link.

Journalism.co.uk court of protection coverage.

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Telegraph: New court order bans journalists from approaching witnesses

April 20th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

The Daily Telegraph’s health correspondent Martin Beckford has reported an order has been made in the Court of Protection banning approaches to witnesses in a case involving an individual referred to only as ‘M’ and addresses linked to the main parties.

The injunction warns: “If you disobey this order you may be found guilty of contempt of court and may be sent to prison or fined or your assets may be seized.”

It goes on to say that the order – which will remain in effect “during the lifetime of M” – bans anyone who is sent it from “communicating with M or with any other member of M’s family, whether orally in person, or by telephoning, text message, email or other means”.

According to the Telegraph the injunction lists 65 different people who must not be contacted, except through a solicitor.

The order also allegedly bans reporters from going within 50 metres of four properties listed.

The full Telegraph report can be found here…

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