An an accompanying explanatory memorandum published on the Judiciary website states that:
"7.1 Amendments to the Court of Protection Rules are long overdue: no comprehensive update of rules has been done since they were first introduced in 2007, and there have been only very limited amendments in 2009 and 2011, and some more substantial amendments in 2015. The changes made by this instrument will strengthen the Court of Protection’s powers to deal with current challenges particularly the increase in caseloads and complexity of cases.
7.2 The proposed rule changes will give the court greater powers, following the model of the Civil Procedure Rules providing for civil restraint orders, to deal with applications which are without merit and allow the court, for instance, to restrain litigants from submitting repeat applications. Further changes will also introduce a new framework for international applications that will reflect current practices and case law in cross jurisdictional cases and bring clarity and consistency to the making of such applications which is now needed as these types of cases are emerging more frequently. "
The Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2017 (SI 2017 no. 187) amend the 2007 Rules in two respects:
- they insert provision for the making by the Court of Protection of civil restraint orders (a civil restraint order being an order against a person who has brought proceedings which are totally without merit from bringing further proceedings without the court’s permission).
- they insert a new Part making provision for applications in relation to international protection of adults pursuant to Schedule 3 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Alongside these rule changes several changes to the Practice Directions are in force as set out below:
- 1 March 2017: Transparency pilot & PD 9E – Applications relating to serious medical treatment
- 1 April 2017: Practice Direction B - Fixed Costs in the Court of Protection
- 6 April 2017: PD 10AA – Deprivation of liberty applications; PD 13A – Hearings (including reporting restrictions); PD 23C – Civil restraint orders; PD 24A – International protection of adults