Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [HL] - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:00 pm on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 9:00 pm, 22nd October 2018

The Minister will be familiar with this amendment because it stems from Inclusion London, which drafted it. I know that it has written to him about it. It is run and controlled by disabled people, is very concerned about the Bill and wants this issue discussed.

The amendment concerns ensuring the effective participation of P in the Court of Protection proceedings. It gives P the presumed right to give evidence and sets out a number of ways in which that might happen. The organisation has copied me in to a letter to the Minister. It writes that one of the key challenges to date has been securing P’s meaningful participation in Court of Protection proceedings, something acknowledged in the 2018 Joint Committee on Human Rights report, The Right to Freedom and Safety: Reform of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. Participation is an important issue for a number of reasons, including that it is more likely to place the person at the centre of the decision-making process and may change the outcome of the case. Research suggests that P rarely participates in or gives evidence in proceedings. In the light of the Government’s emphasis on providing protection for people who may lack capacity, it is asking us to consider the amendment.

This seems a reasonable point, and I shall be interested to hear what the Minister has to say in response. I beg to move.