International issues relating to the protection of vulnerable adults
International issues relating to the protection of vulnerable adults

The following Private Client guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • International issues relating to the protection of vulnerable adults
  • Hague Convention XXXV on the International Protection of Vulnerable Adults
  • The legal framework in England and Wales
  • Protective measures
  • Powers of representation
  • Applications concerning foreign representative powers

Hague Convention XXXV on the International Protection of Vulnerable Adults

The Hague Convention XXXV on the International Protection of Vulnerable Adults was formally concluded at the Hague on 13 January 2000 with the aim of drawing together all of the various approaches to mental capacity within the jurisdictions of the convention states with the interests of the adult and the preservation of dignity and autonomy being primary considerations. In the UK, capacity is task-specific so a person may have the capacity to make a decision on a simple issue such as contracting for the supply of basic goods and services but may lack the capacity to make a decision on a more complex issue such as making a Will or settling property. In contrast, in other jurisdictions, if a person lacks capacity, they are regarded by the law of that jurisdiction as lacking capacity for all purposes. There is also the problem of differing standards in the standard and assessment of capacity.

The key objectives of the Convention are stated to be:

  1. to determinate the state whose authorities have jurisdiction to take measures directed to the protection of the person or property of the adult

  2. to determine which law is to be applied by such authorities in exercising their jurisdiction

  3. to determine the law applicable to representation of the adult