Appraisal of legal decision-making capacity for contemporaneous or retrospective capacity to appoint Enduring Powers of Attorney in addition to instruction of counsel.

Assessing decision making capacity is an emerging inter-disciplinary field.

It combines psychometric assessment with clinical reasoning and the administration of legally informed question-sets.

Until now, approaches have been diverse, with many health practitioners being unaware of the pertinent legal tests, and legal practitioners underutilising the skills of medical and allied health professionals.

My approach to these assessments integrates:

(a) literature review;
(b) extant guidelines;
(c) inter-disciplinary expert opinions;
(d) the utility of cognitive tests in capacity assessment, and;
(d) the legal test. I also prepare pre-sentencing court report.