January 29, 2020.

Safeguarding Ireland today welcomed the publication of an Issues Paper on a regulatory framework for adult safeguarding by the Law Reform Commission.

The Issues Paper considers a range of future regulatory models for adult safeguarding, such as the body or bodies who should regulate adult safeguarding, which could include existing regulatory bodies.

The Issues Paper is seeking sectoral and public views on the powers of such a body or bodies, the need for multi-agency coordination and collaboration and the rights-based guiding principles that should apply.

Safeguarding Ireland Chairperson Patricia Rickard-Clarke welcomed the Law Reform Commission publication and encouraged public debate and submissions on the structure to regulate adult safeguarding.

“Safeguarding Ireland welcomes this important progress and will be making a submission. I also encourage all interested parties to take the opportunity to do so before April 30th”, she said.

However, Ms. Rickard-Clarke said that an effective regulatory framework will need to also have two key pieces of Adult Safeguarding legislation enacted and commenced in order to be effective.

These are: The completion and enactment of an Adult Safeguarding Bill and full implementation of the 2015 Assisted Decision Making Capacity Act.

An Adult Safeguarding Bill has been in development since 2017. Ms Rickard-Clarke said momentum is needed across many Government Departments to complete, enact and implement the Bill.

The Assisted Decision-Making Act was enacted in 2015 and its implementation has been in development since then. However, it is yet to be fully commenced. It includes an overhaul of the wardship system and strengthens supports for decision-making for vulnerable people.

“Safeguarding Ireland calls for the Assisted Decision-Making Act to be commence – in full – this year. Key elements which should be fast-tracked include: Arrangements for Enduring Powers of Attorney and a legal framework for Advance Healthcare Directives. The General Principles in the 2015 Act, which set out how an individual’s rights should be respected, should be commenced without further delay.”

Submissions are sought by April 30th 2020. The Issues Paper and more details are at www.lawreform.ie. More information on safeguarding at www.safeguardingireland.org

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.

Safeguarding Ireland 

Safeguarding Ireland promotes safeguarding of vulnerable adults to protect them from all forms of abuse by persons, organisations and institutions and to develop a national plan for promoting their welfare.