Schedule to be inserted as Schedule AA1 to the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Part of Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North 9:45 am, 15th January 2019

I am sure Hansard will correct that and make me seem a lot more articulate, which is one of the real perks of this place. Already, we have heard a lot about the interpretation of what is appropriate. I worry that if we accept only what is in the Bill and Government amendments, the Bill will be very much open to interpretation in the moment by a third party who, presumably, is busy and has other responsibilities. Our amendments develop the situation further.

I heard what the Minister said about the perils of putting in a long list that risks failing to be exhaustive, but I would say, “Let’s develop that list a little.” Amendment 37 is clear about our wanting to make sure that areas with the highest risk—those that would have been the flashing reds I talked about earlier—are definitely and in all cases covered, without that being open to interpretation under the Bill. I think that is important.

Amendment 38 extends and tidies up arrangements for 16 and 17-year-olds, and brings in a new category of person—young people—for whom there is lots of risk. It is prudent to make sure that all such cases are covered. Amendment 39 broadens that trigger of objection, so that when a third-party interpretation is made in a care setting, it is a lot clearer what constitutes an objection, and what might just be the individual not enjoying their day. Again, that is wise and gives us a great deal of security. I will finish on that point. This is important legislation, but it is important that we know the full story, which means having the code of practice. If we mean something, we should state it in the Bill, and not wait for interpretation later.