The Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force on 1 October 2007 and the Court of Protection court itself acquired new status.
The Court of Protection jurisdiction to make orders about a person who lacks capacity’s personal welfare and property and finance and has power to appoint others ( Called ‘a Deputy’) to act on their behalf in future decisions. More than one deputy can be appointed for the same person.
Section 1 of the Mental Capacity Act ("the Act") sets out five principles that have to be followed by all those dealing with incapacitated adults these are:
- a person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity
- a person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him to do so have been taken without success
- a person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he makes an unwise decision
- an act done, or decision made, under this Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in his best interests
- before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard must be had to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action
The Deputies must always have regard to the five principles set out in section 1 of the Act and must always be considering those when making decisions.