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Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Principles: capacity

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

1.—(1) The principles in subsections (2) to (5) must be complied with where for any purpose of this Act a determination falls to be made of whether a person who is 16 or over lacks capacity in relation to a matter.

(2) The person is not to be treated as lacking that capacity unless it is established that the person lacks capacity in relation to the matter within the meaning given by section 3.

(3) Whether the person is, or is not, able to make a decision for himself or herself about the matter—

(a)is to be determined solely by reference to whether the person is or is not able to do the things mentioned in section 4(1)(a) to (d); and

(b)accordingly, is not to be determined merely on the basis of any condition that the person has, or any other characteristic of the person, which might lead others to make unjustified assumptions about his or her ability to make a decision.

(4) The person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision for himself or herself about the matter unless all practicable help and support to enable the person to make a decision about the matter have been given without success (see section 5).

(5) The person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision for himself or herself about the matter merely because the person makes an unwise decision.

(6) Nothing in subsections (1) to (5) removes any obligation that a person may be under in a particular situation to take steps to establish whether another person has capacity in relation to a matter.

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