Question to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Frances Fitzgerald, TD)
To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress of the revised Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill 2013; when it will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
For WRITTEN ANSWER on date: Wednesday, 14 January 2015.
The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 proposes a modern statutory framework to support decision-making by adults with capacity difficulties. Its aim is to enable these persons to exercise decision-making autonomy to the greatest extent possible. To this end, the Bill provides for the replacement of the adult Wards of Court system with a less intrusive system. It also offers a continuum of options to support people in maximising their decision-making capability. Its enactment is a key element in enabling Ireland to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Bill was published in July 2013, completed second stage in Dial in December 2013 and is awaiting committee stage in the current session. As the Bill has already commenced its transit through the Houses of the Oireachtas it will not be republished. However, amendments to it will become a matter of public record as it passes through each stage of the legislative process. My Department is currently working, in this regard, on amendments to the Bill to align it more closely with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to strengthen the safeguards necessary to enable persons with capacity difficulties to exercise greater autonomy in decision-making.