The Mental Welfare Commission today submitted its response to the Scottish Government's consultation on reform of this Act.
One of the first pieces of legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament, it dates from 2000, and is intended to protect adults who are felt unable to take financial, welfare or medical decisions, because of conditions such as dementia or learning disability. It provides for a range of measures including powers of attorney and guardianship.
In the years since its introduction, the use of the legislation has risen substantially, putting the safeguards in the law under pressure. Developments in the law and human rights standards have meant that what was once world leading legislation now requires fundamental review.
The government issued a consultation paper with proposals for reform earlier this year, and asked for responses by 30 April 2018.
Colin McKay, chief executive, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, said:
"We welcome this consultation, and see it as a great opportunity to develop a new approach that is flexible and proportionate, and which strengthens the rights of adults whose ability to make decisions is impaired.
"The government's proposals are important and radical, but need a great deal of further work. We have suggested ways the proposals can be improved, and we hope that the next step will be an open and inclusive policy development process that can capture the very best ideas, and give Scotland new legislation that will protect and empower adults with dementia, learning disability and related conditions."