The press often refers to the Court of Protection as 'the secret court'. In fact, the Court works to make sure that decisions are made in the best interests of those vulnerable people that they are trying to protect, generally people who have lost mental capacity and cannot make decisions themselves. The current trial of opening up hearings with restrictions to ensure that identities are protected is a great step forward to ensuring that their work is better understood.
A senior judge says he wants to dispel the idea that a specialist court where issues involving vulnerable people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions are analysed is "sinister" and "secret". Mr Justice Mostyn said "certain sections of the press" are wrong to suggest Court of Protection judges dispense justice behind closed doors. He was speaking at a public Court of Protection hearing in London where he ruled that surgeons could amputate the legs of a sick 49-year-old woman who lacked the mental capacity to make decisions. The judge said the hearing, on Friday, was staged in open court in the presence of a journalist. "I want to dispel the idea, which continues to be peddled by certain sections of the press, that the Court of Protection is a secret, sinister court which dispenses justice behind closed doors."