Wednesday, 6 October 2021
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
83. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the timeline of the full commencement and implementation of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015. [48496/21]
The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (the 2015 Act) is a very important piece of legislation that changes the existing law on capacity from the status approach of the wardship system to a flexible functional approach, whereby capacity is assessed on an issue and time-specific basis. It will abolish the wards of court system for adults by repealing the Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act 1871. Adults currently in wardship will transition to the new decision-making support arrangements on a phased basis over 3 years from the date of commencement.
The Government made a commitment in the Programme for Government to commence the 2015 Act, recognising the importance of the much needed reform that it represents. We are working towards a date of June 2022 for commencement of the 2015 Act and establishment of the Decision Support Service immediately thereafter. An inter-departmental steering group is meeting regularly to prepare for commencement of the Act.
Amendments are also required to the 2015 Act before full commencement can take place. Work is actively taking place on an Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Bill, which will address a number of issues required to streamline processes and improve safeguards for those who will rely on the provisions of the Act. I expect to be in a position to publish a Bill by year-end, and to see it enacted next year.