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Assisted Decision-Making

Dáil Éireann Debate, Friday - 3 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Questions (48)

Pauline Tully

Question:

48. Deputy Pauline Tully asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if the timeframe for full commencement of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 and the commencement of operations of the Decision Support Service is June 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59378/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Government made a commitment in the Programme for Government to commencing the 2015 Act, recognising the importance of the much needed reform that it represents. We are working towards a date of June 2022 for full commencement of the Act, and the operationalisation of the Decision Support Service by July 2022.

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (the 2015 Act) 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.

Work is actively taking place on an Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Bill. These amendments will streamline processes, in the interests of those using its provisions. They will also strengthen the safeguards included in the 2015 Act.

A high-level Steering Group, chaired by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, is working towards full operationalisation of the Decision Support Service on foot of commencement of the Act. The Steering Group comprises senior officials from relevant Departments and agencies.  

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