Session 2002-2003

17 July 2003

Call for Evidence

The two Houses of Parliament have established a Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Incapacity Bill, which was published by the Government on 27 June 2003 (Cm 5859).  The text of the draft Bill can be found at:


The remit of the Committee is to consider the draft bill, and to report on it to both Houses by the end of November 2003. The Committee will proceed in the normal manner of Select Committees, by holding hearings and receiving written evidence. The Committee will publish a report making recommendations.


The members of the Committee are as follows:

Lord Carter (Labour) Chairman

Baroness Barker (Liberal Democrat)

Baroness Fookes (Conservative)

Baroness Knight of Collingtree (Conservative)

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall (Labour)

Lord Pearson of Rannoch (Conservative)

Lord Rix (Crossbencher)

Baroness Wilkins (Labour)

Mr John Bercow MP (Conservative, Buckingham)

Mrs Angela Browning MP (Conservative, Tiverton and Honiton)

Mr Paul Burstow MP (Liberal Democrat, Sutton and Cheam)

Jim Dowd MP (Labour, Lewisham West)

Stephen Hesford MP (Labour, Wirral West)

Mrs Joan Humble MP (Labour, Blackpool North and Fleetwood)

Huw Irranca-Davies MP (Labour, Ogmore)

Laura Moffatt MP (Labour, Crawley)

At its first meeting on Tuesday 15 July, the Committee elected Lord Carter as Chairman. The Committee expects to start taking oral evidence in September. The programme of such evidence sessions will be announced nearer the time.


The Joint Committee invites interested organisations and individuals to submit written evidence as part of its inquiry into the Draft Mental Incapacity Bill. Submissions, reflecting the guidance on written evidence given in this press notice, should reach the Committee as soon as possible and must be submitted at the latest by Monday 1 September.

Scope of the Committee's inquiry

The Joint Committee expects to concentrate its Inquiry on the following themes in relation to the structure and content of the draft Bill:

-Was the consultation process preceding the publication of the draft Bill adequate and effective?

-Are the objectives of the draft Bill clear and appropriate?

-Does the draft Bill meet those objectives adequately?

-Are the proposals in the draft Bill workable and sufficient?

-Might lessons be learned from similar legislation already implemented in Scotland or elsewhere?

-Are there relevant issues not covered by the draft Bill which it should have addressed?

-In what other ways might the draft Bill be improved?

Written evidence

All written evidence should be submitted to the Joint Committee no later than Monday 1 September. Given the limited time available for the submission of evidence and for the completion of the Committee's work, written evidence should be short and should concentrate on the major issues arising from the draft Bill.

If appropriate, written evidence should contain a brief introductory paragraph setting out, any experience of  the persons or organisations submitting it relevant to the Bill.

 Submissions should take the form of a memorandum and should have numbered paragraphs. An indicative length would be 1,000- 1,200 words. Memoranda which exceed five pages should be accompanied by a one-page summary. Submissions may be accompanied by background material (perhaps already published elsewhere) which would not be reprinted by the Joint Committee.

We wish to receive written evidence, if possible in MS Word or rich text format, by e-mail to scrutiny@parliament.uk.  A single hard copy (single-sided, unbound) should also be sent to Francene Graham, Scrutiny Unit, Room G10,  House of Commons, London SW1P 3JA. Fax 020 7219 8381.

Once written evidence has been submitted it becomes the property of the Committee. Those who have submitted written evidence to the Joint Committee are welcome to publish their evidence themselves (for example, by placing it on their own website). But it must not be published until after the Joint Committee has acknowledged receipt of the evidence. It must also be made clear that the document was prepared as evidence to the Joint Committee. Written submissions from those giving oral evidence will be available at the relevant hearing. Written evidence from others will either be published by the Committee with its final Report or placed in the public domain when that Report is published. Individuals and organisations considering submitting information to the Committee that they would wish the Committee to treat as confidential should consult the Clerks in advance, initially by sending an e-mail to the address given above.

Further notices will be issued shortly, indicating how the Committee will proceed.

To follow the progress of the inquiry, you may:



Ask to be added to the mailing list for future notices.


Francene Graham

Committee Assistant to the Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Incapacity Bill

Room G10

7 Millbank

House of Commons

London SW1A 0PW

Or email: scrutiny@parliament.uk

Tel: 020 7219 8387

Fax: 020 7219 8381