Wednesday 17th July

Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, welcomes the publication today (Wednesday) of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill 2013. This Bill will replace the Wards of Court system with a legal framework to support people in exercising their decision-making capacity so that they can better manage their personal welfare, property and financial affairs.

“Since my election to Dáil Éireann I have repeatedly raised the need to have such a Bill introduced in order to assist vulnerable people and their families in making difficult decisions. The current system, which is based on the Lunacy Act 1871, is archaic and not fit for purpose in 21st century Ireland.

“During the Order Of Business yesterday, I once again raised the issue with the Taoiseach and was delighted to learn that the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 had been agreed upon at Cabinet last Tuesday. The Bill was published today.

“This new legislation will ensure that decision making will be made on a case by case basis, and tailored to meet the needs and circumstances of vulnerable individuals. Most importantly for family members, it will also protect those who take on the difficult task of supporting their loved ones in their decision making. The system will be administered by a new Office of the Public Guardians within the courts service which will draw on their experience in such matters.