Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act (NI) 2016 was enacted by the Assembly in May 2016. The first Phase of the Act came into operation in two stages - research provisions commenced on 1 October 2019 and provisions in relation to deprivation of liberty and money & valuables in hospitals and residential care and nursing homes commenced on 2 December 2019. Information on the Act and its commencement is available in the relevant sections below.


The Mental Capacity Act (NI) 2016 (“the Act”) is a ground-breaking piece of legislation that, when fully commenced, will fuse together mental capacity and mental health law ... more


The Mental Capacity Act (NI) 2016 is being partially commenced and will provide a new statutory framework in relation to deprivation of liberty ... more


The five statutory Principles in the Act are the values that underpin the legal requirements of the Act and which must be taken account of in relation to every DoL.  The first four Principles are all in relation to Capacity.  The fifth Principle is in relation to Best Interests. ... more










Deprivation of Liberty

What is deprivation of liberty (DoL)?

Depriving a person of his or her liberty is one of the most serious infringements of a person’s human rights.  ... more



Nominated Person

The Act requires a nominated person (‘NP’) to be consulted when the best interests are considered in relation to a DoL. Under the Act, the person who lacks capacity (‘P’) is empowered to choose and appoint a NP, if P has capacity to do so. ... more




The Review Tribunal (formerly the Mental Health Review Tribunal) is an independent judicial body administered by the NI Courts and Tribunals Service as an Agency within the Department of Justice.  ... more





Specific training must be undertaken in order to carry out certain functions under the Act (such as carrying out a formal assessment of capacity, sitting on a Trust Panel etc.) ... more


Code of Practice

The legal framework provided by the Act is supported by Codes of Practice which provide practical information for how the Act works.....more



The legal framework provided by the Act is supported by a set of Forms that are to be used as required under the Act.....more





Useful Information and Contacts

If you have an operational query in relation to the Act or DoLS in particular (including queries in relation to accessing training), you should contact your local Trust MCA team ... more

Latest News

The Department produces a bi-monthly MCA DoLS newsletter which provides regional statistics and updates on latest developments. ... more

Mental Capacity Act FAQs Image


This section provides a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) in relation to the implementation of Phase 1 of the Mental Capacity Act......more


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