Court of Protection

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The Court of Protection in English law is a superior court of record created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It has jurisdiction over the property, financial affairs and personal welfare of people who it claims lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.[1]

The Court of Protection has been called the United Kingdom's "most secret court" as the cases are typically closed to the public.[2][3]


Among its various roles the Court of Protection is responsible for determining disputes as to the registration of enduring powers of attorney, and Lasting Powers of Attorney, appointing new trustees, appointing deputies to manage the affairs of persons who do not have the mental capacity to make the relevant decisions, authorising certain gifts and making statutory wills. Examples of personal welfare issues determined by the court are decisions about where protected persons live, who they see and how they are cared for. The offices and full-time Judges of the Court of Protection were originally located at Archway Tower, Junction Road, London. Since 9 January 2012, the Court was located in the Thomas Moore Building at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand, London. In 2014, it was relocated to First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London WC1A 9JA.

Prior to 1 October 2007, there was an Office of the Supreme Court of England and Wales (also termed the Court of Protection) that had jurisdiction over the property and affairs of persons who lacked capacity to manage and administer these themselves. At that time the old Court of Protection was part of the old Office of the Public Guardian; the new Court of Protection and the Public Guardian are now entirely separate organisations with different responsibilities.


Journalist Christopher Booker has written a series of articles in The Daily Telegraph critical of the Court of Protection. He has called the court the "most sinister" and "most secretive" court in the United Kingdom. Booker reported several cases where elderly Britons were forced to hand over their assets to social workers and the courts.[1][2][3]

Notable cases[edit]

In 2015, the Court of Protection ruled that a woman with six children and an IQ of 70 should be sterilized because another pregnancy would have been a "significantly life-threatening event" for her and the foetus due to her having a very thin uterus.[4]


The court system of Gibraltar has a similar institution also called the Court of Protection, part of its Supreme Court.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Booker, Christopher (16 August 2014). "How the Court of Protection left a 94-year-old without savings or dignity". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Booker, Christopher (16 October 2016). "The terrifying tale of how Britain's most secret court imprisoned a grandmother". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Booker, Christopher (3 January 2014). "The most sinister court in Britain strikes yet again". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  4. ^ James Gallagher (February 4, 2015). "Mother of six 'can be sterilised' – court ruling". BBC. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 

External links[edit]