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Mental Capacity Act 2005: Code of Practice

Volume 691: debated on Monday 23 April 2007

My noble and learned friend the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor has today issued the Mental Capacity Act 2005 code of practice. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

In accordance with Section 43 of the Act, the code was laid in draft before both Houses of Parliament on 23 February 2007 for a period of 40 days. That period has now elapsed and today the Lord Chancellor has issued the code in its final form.

The Act requires a range of people to have regard to the code; for example, those acting in relation to a person lacking capacity in a paid or professional role. On 1 April 2007, those aspects of the Act relating to independent mental capacity advocates and the new criminal offence of ill-treatment or neglect came into force. Anyone who is required to have regard to the code will need to have regard to it in relation to those matters from 23 April. All other provisions of the Act are due to come into force on 1 October 2007. Those with a duty to have regard to the code will need to have regard to it for all other purposes from that date.

The code of practice will be a valuable source of information and guidance on the Mental Capacity Act and I am convinced that it will play an important role in shaping the way the Act is put into practice.