26 June 2019
Mr. Chua Guan-Hock SC and Miss Teresa Wu of DVC were invited by Ms. Sherlynn Chan, the Author of “A Practical Guide to Mental Health Law in Hong Kong”, to share with practitioners in the field their experiences on the topic of Management of the Property and Affairs of Mentally Incapacitated Persons.
As the Hon Mr. Justice Johnson Lam, the Vice President of the Court of Appeal, stated at the beginning of the Foreword of the book, “People who lost their mental capacities are vulnerable and the law should protect them from being exploited. At the same time, it can be quite taxing for those who take care of such persons and the law should not unduly burden such carers with administrative duties on them. Further, different members in the family of such a person can have different views on what is the best for that person. Sometimes, for one reason or another, such differences cannot be resolved amongst these members by themselves. In those cases, the law needs to provide an efficient and effective means to resolve such differences.”
With those in words mind, Hock and Teresa homed in the following topics for discussion at their seminar:
(1) Introduction to Part II of the Mental Health Ordinance (“MHO”) (Cap. 136), with references to PD. 30.1 and the relevant and recent case law/judgments;
(2) The court’s power to protect and manage assets of mentally incapacitated persons;
(3) The jurisdiction, scope and power of the committee appointed by the court under MHO s. 11;
(4) The question of mental capacity, which is the subject of the inquiry by court (c.f. O. 80, r. 3 of the Rules of High Court (Cap. 4A); and
(5) The court’s power to make a statutory will.