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ADULTS WITH INCAPACITY ACT MOVES NEARER TO IMPLEMENTATION

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The implementation of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 has been brought a step nearer with the public...
The implementation of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 has been brought a step nearer with the publication for consultation of draft codes of practice and draft regulations.

The announcement was made by minister for justice Jim Wallace in the Scottish parliament in response to a question from Scott Barrie MSP.

Mr Wallace said: 'The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act has been widely welcomed as a significant and much-needed reform of the law. It is an early example of how the Scottish Parliament can work to safeguard the rights and interests of the vulnerable and their families across Scotland.

'I have today published for consultation the following documents:

Draft codes of practice for:

Attorneys appointed under Part 2

Withdrawers authorised under Part 3

Local authorities

Draft regulations on:

Certificates in relation to powers of attorney under sections 15(3)(c) and 16(3)(c)

Countersignatories of applications for authority to intromit under section 26(1)(c).

Local authority supervision under section 10(3)

Guidance note on completion of certificates under section 15(3)(c) or 16(3)(c).

'Copies are being circulated to all the organisations on the Scottish executive's consultation list in relation to adults with incapacity. The consultation period will last for three months.

'In addition a draft code of practice for interveners and guardians, draft regulations related to aspects of guardianship, a draft code of practice on medical treatment and draft regulations prescribing certificates of incapacity will shortly be published.

'Draft regulations for the medical treatments which require safeguards and proposals for those safeguards will be published once the views of the Millan Committee are published later this year. The full 3 months for consultation responses on these documents will also be allowed.'

BACKGROUND

The Act received Royal Assent on 9 May 2000. It was the fifth Act to receive Royal Assent. It will be implemented in phases between April 2001 and April 2002.

The Act protects the rights and interests of adults who are incapable of managing their own affairs: one of the most vulnerable groups in society. Up to 100,000 adults in Scotland and their relatives and carers are affected by incapacity at any time. The Act deals with the management of their property, financial affairs and personal welfare, including medical treatment.

The codes of practice and regulations will come into effect at the same time as the relevant provisions of the Act.

The codes of practice are for those who have functions conferred on them by the Act and will offer guidance on the legislation itself and offer further practical information.

They support in particular Parts 2 and 3 of the Act which will come into effect on 1 April 2001. Under Part 2, people who want to make arrangements for their affairs to be looked after in the event of their future incapacity will be able to appoint continuing or welfare attorneys of their own choosing.

Under Part 3 someone caring for an adult with incapacity will be able to apply to the Public Guardian for authority to have access to the adult's funds, to use for the adult's benefit. The codes of practice and regulations published today set out proposed details of how these arrangements are to operate and how the various safeguards for the adult will work.

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