Care and Relationality: Supported decision-making under the UN CRPD

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


In this chapter I explore the concept of relationality and the relevance of it for law relating to care. My focus is on mental capacity law and the problem of ‘best interests’, which the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have stated is not an appropriate standard for making decisions on behalf of people with cognitive disabilities. The chapter seeks to explore the conceptual links between care, relationality and supported decision-making by people with cognitive impairments that affect their decision-making abilities. It draws on two recent cases to show how supported decision-making under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which took effect in 2008, can work with the (best interests oriented) legislative scheme of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). I argue that where best interests is re-interpreted to follow the will and preferences of the individual, through operationalising a relational approach to the legal subject, the seeming incompatibility between the CRPD and the MCA can be addressed in a way which takes a more accurate view of how decisions are made.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRevaluing Care in Theory, Law and Policy
Subtitle of host publicationCycles and Connections
EditorsRosie Harding, Ruth Fletcher, Chris Beasley
Publication statusPublished - 2017