Certificate in Decision-Making Capacity & Support

Start Date 12 May 2018 at 10:00 am
Assessment 2,500 word written assignment
Delivery Method Saturdays with supplementary release of online lectures
CPD Hours The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to this course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions.  For further information and the CPD booklet, see CPD scheme.
Course Leader Rory O'Boyle, Solicitor, Course Leader: R.OBoyle@LawSociety.ie



The closing date for applications is Friday 4 May 2018. We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified non-members. To pay online click on the 'Book Now' button. For all other methods of payment including, draft, cheque and EFT please see our methods of payment. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee.

  • Member fee: €1550
  • Non-member fee: €1650 (this is inclusive of a supplemental fee).


Programme overview
The purpose of this certificate is to ensure that practitioners are fully conversant with the requirements of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (the 2015 Act), with particular emphasis on supporting decision-making and a detailed analysis of the various codes and guidelines required under the 2015 Act. This certificate is timely as progress towards fuller implementation of the 2015 Act is well underway, with for example the appointment Director of Decision Support Services having been completed; the commencement of specific sections 2015 Act being provided for on an incremental basis; and work on the various codes and guidelines at an advanced stage.

Programme outline
The certificate is divided into four modules:

Module 1: Legislative background, key definitions & the guiding principles

  • Origins & scope the 2015 Act
  • The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
  • Definition & assessment of capacity (i.e. the functional approach)
  • The Guiding Principles
  • Proposed legislative updates to the 2015 Act
  • Review of wardship

Module 2: Supporting decision-making

  • Decision-making assistance
  • Co-decision-making
  • Decision-making representation
  • Designated healthcare representatives
  • The functions of the Director of the Decision Support Service

Module 3: Planning in advance

  • Guidelines on the functional approach
  • EPAs to be created under the 2015 Act
  • Advance Healthcare Directives
  • Deprivation of liberty

Module 4: Jurisdictional Issues

  • Other Interveners – (1) special visitors and general visitors and (2) court friends
  • Jurisdiction of the courts - exclusive jurisdiction of the Circuit Court
  • Exceptions to that exclusive jurisdiction and the role of the High Court
  • The role of solicitors in implementing the requirements of the 2015 Act

Workshop 1: Saturday 12 May 2018 - On the basis that the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 is ‘an Act that needs to be done’, the more academic learning from lectures will be enhanced by interactive workshops and role-play demonstration that will help demonstrate capacity related issues in a practical setting.

Workshop 2: Saturday 16 June 2018 – Practical application through case study, role plays and drafting exercises based on issues relating to decision-making assistance, co-decision making, decision-making representation and external decision supporters.

Workshop 3: Saturday 7 July 2018 - Practical application through case study, role plays and drafting exercises based on issues relating to EPAs, AHDs and defining and assessing capacity.

This certificate is primarily aimed at solicitors and barristers, but may also appeal to suitably qualified non-legal professionals who wish to expand their knowledge and practical implementation and application of issues relating to decision-making capacity.

Lecturers and tutors will be drawn from solicitors, barristers and other professionals with expertise in decision-making capacity & support law.

*Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in these pages is accurate and up to date. However timetables and course content are subject to change and date and time changes may occur due to factors beyond our control.