Scottish Government consults on proposals to reform Adults with Incapacity legislation

Consultation is underway on proposals for reform of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. International human rights law in this field has developed further since the act came into force, and the government needs to ensure that Scotland’s law remains fully fit for purpose.

The proposals are intended to modernise the legislation, improve the extent to which it empowers disabled adults and simplify some of the more complex processes within the current law.

Views are sought on the creation of enhanced principles within the legislation to reflect the need for an adult to have support for the exercise of legal capacity; use of powers of attorney; creation of graded guardianship; creation of a short term placement order and the right of appeal against a residential placement; changes to authorisation for medical treatment and research.

The consultation also seeks views on the most appropriate forum for cases under the Adults with Incapacity legislation, how guardians should be supervised and supported, and whether there is a need for legislative provision for advance directives.

You can view the consultation paper here.


The question is: should applications be dealt with administratively by the Public Guardian and more complex cases continue to be dealt with by the local Sheriff, or should the jurisdiction of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland be extended to facilitate a uniform national approach?

Stewart Pettigrew
Senior Solicitor


Costs are, of course, relevant and the Scottish Government is yet to provide the necessary financial information.

For more advice on Adults with Incapacity legislation, call us on 0141 375 9000 or fill in the contact form below.


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