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Fine Gael Cork East TD, David Stanton, has today (Wednesday) welcomed the publication of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013. Deputy Stanton is Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence, which carried out hearings and reports to help to inform the content of the Bill.

“The Assisted-Decision Making (Capacity) Bill will provide for vital and important changes to the current outdated legislation in this area which dates back to the 19th Century. Specifically it will repeal all or sections of the Management of Lunatics Act 1811, the Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act 1871 and Sale of Goods Act 1893. It will also help with the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and will provide for the ratification of the Hague Convention on the International Protection of Adults.

“Major changes to be introduced by this legislation, as its title would suggest, are in the legal capacity and decision making areas such as providing, through the courts, for people to be appointed to help others if their capacity is diminished; to make changes to the wards of court system and power of attorney, and to establish a Public Guardian in respect of persons who may require assistance in decision-making.

“I am very pleased that a large amount of the Justice Committee recommendations have been incorporated in this legislation. Last year, the Committee, following receipt of over 70 submissions on the draft legislation, invited a number of organisations and groups to a series of hearings to discuss their concerns. These hearings then informed the Committee’s report on the draft capacity legislation which was published and provided to Minister Shatter in May 2012.

“I look forward to the second stage debate on the Assisted Decision-Making Capacity legislation.”