The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Act 2022

05 January 2023


It is now hard to believe that we are writing about an Act rather than a Bill when it comes to Assisted Decision-Making amendments. What seemed like a “never never” has now become a reality. The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Act 2022 was signed by the president on the 17th of December and is now fully enacted. I set out here a link to the Bills page of the Act which gives a final version of the 2022 Act.

The Act contains 104 sections, 92 of which are specifically directed at amending the principal 2015 Act. It does show that despite the long gestation of the 2015 Act, it still require a significant degree of refinement for it to be fit for purpose. It does strike one that this could speak to a couple of factors, namely, the breath and scope of the original 2015 Act and its ambitious aims and secondly that perhaps a weakness of the 2015 Act was its prescriptive nature. The 2015 Act does contain a significant amount of detail and regulates in a close rather than a broader fashion.

What is also very welcome in relation to the enactment of the 2022 Act is the publication of the Bill Digest from two Senior Parliamentary Researchers, namely Michelle Lynch and Dr Etaoine Howlett, which is also available from the Bills section set out in the link below, which does contain valuable background information to the 2022 Act and its progress.

As at the date of writing (5 January 2023) the Decision Support Service have not made reference to the passing of the 2022 Act, but it merely states that the implementation of the 2015 Act will be early this year.

It is exciting times really for those whose work involves dealing with capacity issues. We are now at the cusp of the much needed change to Wardship, EPAs and Advance Health Care Directives which will see significant benefits for all members of society.

Remember if you have any capacity, will drafting or probate queries, please reach out through our solicitor query service on our site or on the link below.

I set out here a link to the Bills page

The Solicitor Query service is here