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Cert Assisted Decision Making Capacity

Start Date
Tuesday 18 April 2023 at 6:00 PM
2,500-word written assignment (90%) and continuous assessment through online activities (10%).
Delivery Method
Live online lectures Tuesdays 6pm to 9pm, with live workshops on occasional Saturdays. Lectures also available to view on-demand.
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 booklet, see CPD scheme.
Course Leader
Suzanne Crilly, Solicitor, Course Leader: S.Crilly@LawSociety.ie
This item is not available to book online

Application information

We are no longer accepting applications for this course. If you are interested in applying for a future offering of the course please register for our Interested List. 

Solicitors and Trainees

To pay online click on the 'Book Now' button. For all other methods of payment please see our methods of payment .

Other Professionals

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified professionals. Your application must be approved before you can formally register on the course. To apply please email the following documents to diplomateam@lawsociety.ie :

  1. A completed application form (see below)
  2. Your Curriculum Vitae
  3. A short cover letter setting out your relevant experience

Please note, for non-members this course is subject to a supplemental fee of €175 bringing the total course fee to €1,900. No fees are required prior to approval.


Further information on this course including course structure, module scheme, faculty and workshop dates are set out below. Clicking on the links will bring you directly to that section or simply scroll through to read all the content. 

    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 because the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015, which was enacted in December 2015, is due to commence later this year. It reforms outdated nineteenth century legislation based on the Lunacy Regulations (Ireland) Act 1871 and takes account of the principles contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which Ireland ratified in 2018.

    The legislation replaces the outdated Wards of Court system with a modern human rights supported decision-making framework, updates the Powers of Attorney Act 1996 to include health care decisions and introduces a statutory framework for Advance Healthcare Directives. The legislation puts the presumption of capacity on a statutory basis. It moves away from the existing substituted decision-making regime to provide for supported decision making which must take account of the “will and preferences” of the person whose decision-making capacity may be in question. 

    The range of supports for those that need assistance, will take the form of a number of different intervention options. The type of intervention will depend on the level of support that the person needs to assist them to make a decision.


    The programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

    Module 1: Legislative Background and Pre-Planning Options

    • 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
    • Discharge from the Wardship process

    Module 2: Decision-Making and Planning in Advance

    • The role and functions of the Director of the Decision Support Service
    • Enduring Powers of Attorney
    • Assisted Healthcare Directives
    • Deprivation of Liberty safeguards

    Module 3: Jurisdictional and Other Issues

    • 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
    • International Protection – Convention on the International Protection of Adults
    • Equal recognition before the Law
    • Minors and Capacity
    • External Decision Supporters


        Workshops are a key feature of this course. These are designed to be interactive and involve working in groups on selected case-study problems and analysis, with an emphasis on the application of the law to common scenarios encountered in practice. 

        1Workshop 110 June 202310.00am - 1.00pm
        2Workshop 224 June 202310.00am – 1.00pm


        2,500-word written assignment (90%) and continuous assessment through online activities (10%).

        Who should attend?

        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. 

        We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified non-members. 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 of €100.


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

        Lecturers will include:

        • Paul Brady BL,
        • Mark Felton, Partner, Felton McKnight Solicitors LLP,
        • Aine Flynn, Director, Decision Support Service,
        • Caoimhe Gleeson, National Programme Manager for the National Office for Human Rights and Equality, HSE,
        • Patricia Hickey, General Solicitor for Minors and Wards of Court,
        • Aine Hynes SC, Partner, St John Solicitors LLP,
        • David Leahy BL,
        • Judge John O’ Connor,
        • Geoffrey Shannon SC, Law Society of Ireland.


        We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. For further information, visit the CPD scheme   and download the CPD booklet. 

        The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2023. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year. 


        Suzanne Crilly, Solicitor, Course Leader: S.Crilly@LawSociety.ie .

        *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.

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        This item is not available to book online