Clare Inclusive Research Group’s Brian Hogan and Ger Minogue were amongst six delegates from the Inclusive Research Network who took part in the recent Justice Dept symposium at Dublin Castle alongside Older Age and Mental Health lobbyists regarding new capacity law the Government are introducing.
Replacing the archaic 1871 Lunacy Act with cutting edge Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) law which enshrines the acceptance that all individuals can make their own decisions (a presumption of capacity) was welcomed by all representatives. Situations where a person might need assistance to make decisions around issues such as disputes over inherited money or medical procedures were debated and Brian stressed the need for an accessible version of the new law to help all concerned better understand the proposed legislation.
Ger was keen to ask why the revised Sexual Offences (Criminal Law) Act, which currently criminalises the majority of people with a learning disability who engage in sexually intimate behaviour, was not being introduced at the same time as the capacity law as we had been told it would by the Law Reform Commission back in 2011. Justice Department representative Carol Baxter undertook to raise this again with the department.