The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 was signed into law on the 30 December 2015. The Act is about supporting decision-making and maximising a person’s capacity to make decisions.  The Act was expected to commence in June 2022, but this has now been delayed until later this year.

The Act introduces a new legal framework for supported decision-making in Ireland. It includes new statutory principles and practical supports for persons who may have difficulties with their decision-making capacity, including but not limited to persons with an intellectual disability, psychiatric illness, acquired brain injury, or age-related condition, such as dementia. Currently, the only process for citizens to get state support for persons who may have difficulties with their decision-making capacity is through the Wards of Court process.

Following the commencement of the Act, Court applications will be made through the Circuit Court with limited exceptions. Assisted Decision Making (ADM) is a completely different way to support people and families who may have difficulties making decisions.

Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015

Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015

Background:

The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 was signed into law on the 30 December 2015. The Act is about supporting decision-making and maximising a person’s capacity to make decisions. The Act was expected to commence in June 2022, but this has now been delayed until later this year.

The Act introduces a new legal framework for supported decision-making in Ireland. It includes new statutory principles and practical supports for persons who may have difficulties with their decision-making capacity, including but not limited to persons with an intellectual disability, psychiatric illness, acquired brain injury, or age-related condition, such as dementia. Currently, the only process for citizens to get state support for persons who may have difficulties with their decision-making capacity is through the Wards of Court process.

The Act ensures greater protection for vulnerable members of society in relation to their decision-making capacity as we transition from the expiring Wardship System. One of the guiding principles of the Act is the presumption of capacity. Everyone is presumed to have capacity unless the Court declares otherwise. This ensures that every case is treated individually and that certain cohorts of people are not automatically deemed to lack capacity.

What does ADMC mean for the Courts Service?

Following the commencement of the Act, Court applications will be made through the Circuit Court with limited exceptions. Assisted Decision Making (ADMC) is a completely different way to support people and families who may have difficulties making decisions.

The Act establishes a Decision Support Service (DSS) within the Mental Health Commission to oversee the operation of the Act and to carry out the functions currently carried out by the Office of the Wards of Court. 

What Circuit Court Offices have been selected to deal with ADMC Applications?

The nine Circuit Court offices chosen to commence the project, following a suitability evaluation process is as follows:

Circuit  ADMC Office in Circuit ADMC Office Address  Counties in Circuit
Dublin Dublin Circuit Civil Office, First Floor, Áras Uí Dhálaigh, Inns Quay, Dublin 7. D07 N972 Dublin
Cork Cork The Courthouse, Washington Street, Cork, T12 C6CV Cork
Eastern Bray The Courthouse, Civic Centre, Main Street, Bray, Co. Wicklow. A98 WK84 Wicklow and Kildare
Eastern Dundalk The Courthouse, Dundalk, Co. Louth, A91 XHP6 Louth and Meath
Midlands Mullingar The Courthouse, Mount Street, Mullingar Co. Westmeath. N91 T973 Longford, Westmeath, Laois, Roscommon, Sligo and Offaly
Northern Letterkenny The Courthouse, High Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. F92 X32W Leitrim, Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan
South Eastern Waterford The Courthouse, Catherine Street, Waterford. X91 XR1W Carlow, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford
South Western Limerick The Courthouse, Merchant's Quay, Co. Limerick. V94 EKK1 Clare, Limerick and Kerry
Western Castlebar The Courthouse, The Mall, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. F23 YA99 Galway and Mayo

ADMC applications should not be lodged in non-ADMC Circuit Court offices, under any circumstances. Should this scenario arise the application will be returned directly to the applicant or the applicant’s solicitor, for lodging in the appropriate Circuit Court office.

Further information on ADM will continue to be communicated through the Courts Service website, www.courts.ie/assisted-decision-making-circuit-court and social media channels.

For information on Wards of Court please visit: https://www.courts.ie/office-wards-court

Webinar

Webinar

A Courts Service and Decision Support Service collaborative online information event