Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act, 2015 to commence in April 2023

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, and Minister of State for Disability, Anne Rabbitte, have announced that the operative provisions of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act, 2015, will be commenced on 26th April 2023.

The Commencement of the Act will allow Ireland to meet its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The long-awaited commencement of the 2015 Act will see the abolition of wardship, the operationalisation of the Decision Support Service (DSS), and the introduction of a new system of tiered decision-making supports.

From the 27th April, the DSS will be open to receive applications for the new decision making supports available under the Act.

The Act overhauls the legal basis for people who may have difficulties with their decision-making capacity and will see a shift in the legal framework from the ‘best interests’ principle, moving towards the ‘will and preferences’ model.

For the first time in Ireland, the test for capacity will be set out on a legislative basis. The four part test for capacity will be assessed on a functional basis and will allow for a person to have capacity in respect of one decision, but not have capacity in respect of others.

The Act also makes changes to how Enduring Powers of Attorney are executed and provides a legal basis for Advance Healthcare Directives.

To learn more, please see our previous article 10 Key things to know about the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015. 

If you have a question in relation to the new Act, please contact Lebeau Jonker, Partner, CKT, or Kevin Healy, Solicitor, CKT.