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What is capacity?

Capacity is the ability to make decisions for oneself.

A person has capacity when they can go through the process of making their own decisions by:

  • understanding the information and choices presented

  • weighing up the information to determine what the decision will mean for them 

  • communicating that decision.

If a person is unable to follow this process and make their own decisions, that person is said to lack capacity.

Supported Decision Making is a Human Right






cover capacity toolkit 

The Capacity Toolkit, produced by the Department of Attorney General and Justice, provides information about capacity and how to decide if a person has the capacity to make their own decisions.