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Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Section 113 – The court’s powers to make decisions and appoint deputies: general

This section applies if P lacks capacity to make decisions about a matter or matters concerning his or her care, treatment or personal welfare or property and affairs.

If P lacks capacity to make such decisions, the High Court may, by order, make a decision or decisions on P’s behalf in relation to those matters or appoint a deputy to make decisions on P’s behalf in relation to those matters.

The section provides that the powers of the High Court are subject to the provisions of the Act, in particular sections 1, 2, 5 and 7 (principles and best interests).

When the court is deciding whether to appoint a deputy, the section provides that the court, as well as having regard to P’s best interests, must have regard to the principles that a decision by the court is the preferred option and the powers that are conferred to a deputy should be as limited as possible in terms of scope and duration.

The section also provides that the court may make further orders or give directions or impose or confer powers and duties on a deputy as it considers appropriate. Any order of the court may be varied or discharged by a subsequent order and may in particular revoke the appointment of a deputy or vary the powers conferred on him or her, if the deputy has behaved, is behaving, or proposes to behave in a way which is out-with the deputy’s powers or not in P’s best interests.

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