A case management pilot scheme will commence in June 2016. In light of this a pilot Practice Direction has been published in order to allow for practitioners to prepare for the changes ahead.
The Pilot Practice Direction will place an obligation on all applicants to provide improved analysis of any issues at the start of a case which in turn will lead to more vigorous decisions being made against all the issues that could be identified at the earliest opportunity. It is hoped that this will help to encourage cases to be resolved within the early stages and also reduce lengthy hearings in contested cases. The length of the pilot is expected to run for up to 12 months.
The pilot scheme sets out three case management pathways for CoP proceedings:
- a Property and Affairs pathway,
- a Health and Welfare pathway, and
- a hybrid pathway for cases that have elements of both Property and Health.
Please note that there could be possible amendments to the draft before the pilot actually commences in order to take account of any observations made on it or for other reasons.
An interesting point to consider is that the Courts may direct any party to file and serve an estimate of costs pursuant to Practice Direction 3.1 (l) of the case management pilot scheme, supplementing the Court of Protection Rules 2007.
If you require any further information please contact the COP costs team on 0113 246 0622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.