There are often many complex interactions between legislation and case law – especially in the field of mental capacity and the Mental Capacity Act (2005) specifically. For this reason it is vital for professionals working in this area to ensure they are familiar with updates in case law to ensure those within the system are protected and best practice is upheld.
The Mental Capacity Act (2005) currently applies to adults aged 18 years and above. However, as with many things, there are specific areas of exception. One of which is known as ‘Gillick Competency’ (or Gillick Competence), and the related Fraser Guidelines. These two important judgements set out rules around when a young person is deemed competent to make their own decisions without specific parental consent.