Judging Values and Participation in Mental Capacity Law
Although the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in England and Wales expressly seeks to empower persons with impairments to participate in decisions about their care and treatment, the extent to which they are allowed to participate in legal proceedings about their capacity and best interests remains subject to judicial discretion. This has resulted in the variable involvement of the subject of proceedings (P) in decisions that affect his or her life.
This project seeks to explore the deeper values that bear on the judicial deliberative process in interpreting the MCA’s principles and procedures, such as the status of P’s participation in legal proceedings about capacity and best interests. Through an interdisciplinary perspective that brings together empirical methods and legal and philosophical analysis, this 3-year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Council will work towards the development of ethically grounded professional development tools for legal advocates and judges as well as generate policy recommendations around P’s participation in legal proceedings around capacity and best interests. The project runs from 2018-2021.