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Mental Capacity Act 2005: Court of Protection

Volume 684: debated on Monday 17 July 2006

The Department for Constitutional Affairs has today published a consultation paper seeking views on new rules of court for the new court of protection established under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The department is seeking views on the draft rules included in the consultation paper. Copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The department is also publishing the government response to the consultation on lasting powers of attorney today. The consultation ended on 14 April 2006 and 118 responses were received. The consultation response provides a summary of responses and the next steps in light of the consultation.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 establishes a new specialist court, to be known as the court of protection, with a new jurisdiction to deal with decision-making for adults who lack capacity. This court will have important structural differences from the current Court of Protection. The new court will be able to make decisions both, as the current court can, about property and affairs (the term used in the Act to describe the financial decision-making jurisdiction) and about personal welfare matters, including healthcare. The new court of protection will begin operating from April 2007.

The Act also allows people to plan ahead for a time when they may lack capacity, by appointing an attorney to make decisions about both their property and affairs and personal welfare.