Britain's most senior family judge called for the Court of Protection to be opened to public scrutiny after admitting current restrictions on what can be reported about it are "not satisfactory from anyone's point of view".
Sir Nicholas Wall, president of the Family Division, said it was "a matter of interest" for the court to be more transparent about the often controversial decisions it makes. Until a legal challenge by The Independent in 2010, its business was automatically conducted in private. Judges still have a right to bar journalists from certain cases and may dictate what can and cannot be reported.
The court deals with the affairs of those without the capacity to make decisions for themselves – from people in comas to adults with learning difficulties or mental health issues.
In an interview with The Guardian, Sir Nicholas said: "The decision about opening up the court is very fraught and people have very strong views. My entirely personal view is that, provided we can protect the confidentiality of litigants and their families, there is not a reason we can't hear the cases in the presence of the media."