Have your say on the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill

19 December 2018

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Mental Capacity (Amendment) [Lords] Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Committee will meet for the first time on Tuesday 15 January 2019. It will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Thursday 24 January 2019. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 24 January 2019.*

 

* In the last Parliamentary Session, the following Public Bill Committees concluded their consideration of the Bill earlier than scheduled: Criminal Finances, Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts), Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs), Neighbourhood Planning, Savings (Government Contributions), Technical and Further Education, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Children & Social Work, National Citizen Service, and Bus Services.

Aims of the Bill

The intention of the Bill is to reform the process for authorising arrangements which enable people who lack capacity to consent to be deprived of their liberty (for the purpose of providing them with care or treatment).

The new regime created by the Bill would replace the existing authorisation process, known as Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), which were introduced in 2009. Those arrangements have attracted significant criticism for being too complex and bureaucratic. Key court judgments have also widened the interpretation of those who should be recognised as having been deprived of their liberty, with significant implications for local authorities and others involved in administering the DoLS scheme.

In March 2017, the Law Commission published a report, Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty, recommending an overhaul of the DoLS process. It recommended that DoLS are repealed and replaced by a new scheme called the Liberty Protection Safeguards, which would streamline the process for approving a deprivation of liberty.

The Government’s final response, published in March 2018, broadly accepted the Law Commission’s recommendations. The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on 3 July 2018. The Bill broadly follows the Law Commission’s recommendations, with some changes.

Follow the progress of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) [Lords] Bill

The Bill has completed its passage through the House of Lords and was introduced in the House of Commons on 11 December 2018. It had its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 18 December 2018.

This Bill has now been committed to a Public Bill Committee which will hold its first meeting on Tuesday 15 January 2019.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for written evidence submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration and possibly reflect it in an amendment. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee will be available in due course under Selection of Amendments on the Bill documents pages. Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it.

The Committee will meet for the first time on Tuesday 15 January 2019. It will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Thursday 24 January 2019. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 24 January 2019.

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk

Further guidance on submitting written evidence can be found here (PDF PDF 1.23 MB).

Image: iStockphoto

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