The Court of Protection (CoP) is trialling public hearings. As somebody with years of experience dealing with the affairs of the vulnerable I am very concerned about the idea of the public having access to CoP hearings.
I often find that the facts that make a client who lacks capacity vulnerable are the small details of their everyday life - things that members of the public could easily take away from a hearing.
Even though the CoP could sanction those who breach the confidentiality of the courtroom in the case of vulnerable individuals any reprimand is likely to be too late.
The pilot will reverse this approach and the Court will normally direct that its hearings will be in public and make an anonymity order to protect the people involved.