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Mental Capacity: One Standard for All Ages

Date:2 MAY 2011

Mr Justice McFarlane

Family Division Liaison Judge

This article is based on an address to the conference ‘Evolving Competencies Young People Mental Capacity and Mental Health Care Law: a law fit for the 21st Century?' Centre for Health and Social Care Law University of Cardiff February 2011.

The issues that are raised by the subject matter of today's conference have a wide compass and include in particular consideration of how the various statutory regimes impact upon a young person who does or may suffer from mental ill health.

The regimes for the assessment and/or treatment of mental health for secure accommodation and criminal justice may each impact upon a person under the age of 18 so as to detain them against their will. In this regard the deprivation of liberty provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 are an exception in that they do not apply to a person under the age of 18 (see the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005) Sch 1A para 13). There...

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