Mental Capacity Act 2005

Find out how we meet the guidance, advice and safeguards set out for people who lack capacity.

What is the Mental Capacity Act 2005?

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (the Act) provides the legal framework for acting and making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack the mental capacity to make particular decisions for themselves. Everyone working with and/or caring for an adult who may lack capacity to make specific decisions must comply with this Act when making decisions or acting for that person, when the person lacks the capacity to make a particular decision for themselves. The same rules apply whether the decisions are life-changing events or everyday matters.

Suffolk County Council guidance

For full guidance on the Mental Capacity Act, staff should refer to the Code of Practice for the Mental Capacity Act.

The Court of Protection

What is the Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection make decisions on financial or welfare matters for people who can’t make decisions at the time they need to be made (they ‘lack mental capacity’).

They are responsible for:

  • deciding whether someone has the mental capacity to make a particular decision for themselves
  • appointing deputies to make ongoing decisions for people who lack mental capacity
  • giving people permission to make one-off decisions on behalf of someone else who lacks mental capacity
  • handling urgent or emergency applications where a decision must be made on behalf of someone else without delay
  • making decisions about a lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney and considering any objections to their registration
  • considering applications to make statutory wills or gifts
  • making decisions about when someone can be deprived of their liberty under the Mental Capacity Act.

You can find guidance about this on the GOV.UK website, and you can see judgements from the court on the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILI) website.