The requests for mental capacity assessments are increasing in number and variety. It is incumbent upon those who perform these assessments to ensure that they properly understand mental capacity. Mental capacity has a legal policy framework and is linked to specific legal criteria for capacity. Doing mental capacity assessments means understanding both the framework in which those assessments are carried out and the task of coming to a legally meaningful opinion.
Key words: mental capacity, allocation of rights, human potential, autonomy, adversarial process.