Course Description

Certificate in Assisted Decision-Making Capacity

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 It reforms outdated nineteenth century legislation based on the Lunacy Regulations (Ireland) Act 1871 and takes account of the principles contained in the UN Convention on the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The legislation replaces the outdated Wards of Court system with a modern human rights supported decision-making framework, updates the Powers of Attorney Act 1996 to include health care decisions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

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CollegeLaw Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
Course LocationDublin
Location PostcodeDublin 7
Course CategoryLaw
Course TypeOnline Learning
Course QualificationAward / Certificate
Awarding BodyLaw Society of Ireland
Awarding Body DetailsCertificate
Course Start Date18th April 2023
Course End Date17th June 2023
Course Duration3 months
Course TimeLive online lectures Tuesdays 6pm to 9pm, with live workshops on occasional Saturdays. Lectures also available to view on-demand.
Course Fee1,725
Entry RequirementsThis 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 €175.
For information about Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, please visit our College Profile page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre

The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24, Dublin, Ireland

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Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24
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