17 February 2020

The first provisions of the Mental Capacity Act (NI) 2016 rolled out in December 2019 are key human rights safeguards.  At a conference organised by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and chaired by one of our partners Linda Johnston, representatives from the legal, health and voluntary sectors met to consider the practical implications of the new statutory framework. 

LRJ Elder Law Conference.JPG

There has been a worrying legislative gap in Northern Ireland around the deprivation of liberty until now.  Without a structure of comprehensive critical review, deprivations of liberty arising in health and care settings, however well intentioned, have potentially amounted to a serious infringement of the right to liberty as enshrined under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human rights.  Arrangements previously taken for granted as being practical, such as a locked door to a nursing home or gate at a day care facility, must now be critically reviewed for each and every resident affected.  Day to day health care practise will be profoundly affected by these changes.

Can we be confident that the new safeguards are properly understood and that sufficient resources are in place to deliver them? Time will tell.

For advice or assistance relating to any elder care and future planning, Linda can be contacted on 02890 243901 or via email at lj@fhanna.co.uk