‘A Practical Guide to the Sheriff Court and Protecting Vulnerable Adults in Scotland’ by David W Cobb


Paperback: 978-1-913715-41-0
Published: July 2021
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The importance of recognising the extent of law relating to Adults with Incapacity, and fostering a proper application of its terms, continues to increase. While the effect of an aging population inevitably will be a significant consideration, the law also embraces Adults who have conditions such as a Learning Disability or who experience the effects of events such as Stroke or Acquired Brain Injury.

It is vital, therefore, that Practitioners can provide the best advice to clients and their families and supporters connected to this complex and developing area of work. It is equally important that other Professionals involved in assisting the lifestyle, finances and treatment of Vulnerable Adults appreciate how the law impacts on their work and informs their decisions.

In Scotland, the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 was the first major legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament which established a comprehensive regime affecting Vulnerable Adults, and reflecting the requirements of the Human Rights Act 1998.  Provision was made in relation to matters such as Powers of Attorney, Guardianship and Intervention Orders, as well as authorisation of some forms of Medical Treatment.

This Textbook offers a full overview of the content of the 2000 Act, and the practical steps available to Attorneys, Guardians and those advising them in discharging their responsibilities. In Scotland, a full Review of Mental Health Law is in progress which will address how the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNHCR) will be implemented. The textbook also will consider what changes in law and practice are likely to arise from the relevant parts of the Review and the possible paradigm shift mandated by the UNCHR.


David Cobb, a practising Advocate, is an experienced and enthusiastic practitioner with expertise in relation to Mental Health, Adults with Incapacity and Human Rights Law. He has written three published textbooks on the evolving area of Mental Health Law in Scotland, and is a regular contributor to the “Scots Law Times” on significant new cases. David’s other writing projects include a new Chapter for the SULI Environmental Law Textbook and updating the Planning section of the “Scottish Human Rights Service”.

David provided advice to the Scottish Government’s Independent Review of Learning Disability and Autism in the Mental Health Act (IMRHA) which was published in December 2019. He is a frequent Speaker at Courses and Conferences, and has been a Trustee of a Mental Health Advocacy Charity since 2017.


Chapter One – Towards the 2000 Act
Chapter Two – Incapacity and the 2000 Act
Chapter Three – The Five Principles
Chapter Four – Who Is Involved?
Chapter Five – Obtaining Power of Attorney
Chapter Six – The Terms of a Power of Attorney
Chapter Seven – Operating a Power of Attorney
Chapter Eight – Guardianship Orders
Chapter Nine – Obtaining a Guardianship Order
Chapter Ten – Once a Guardianship Order Is Obtained
Chapter Eleven – Managing a Guardianship Order
Chapter Twelve – How Guardianship Can Work
Chapter Thirteen – Other Aspects of Guardianship Orders
Chapter Fourteen – Intervention Orders
Chapter Fifteen – Appeals in Relation to Guardianship Orders and Intervention Orders
Chapter Sixteen – Other Financial Management Arrangements
Chapter Seventeen – Supervision and When Things Go Wrong
Chapter Eighteen – What Will It Cost?
Chapter Nineteen – Conducting Transactions
Chapter Twenty – Deprivation of an Adult’s Liberty
Chapter Twenty-One – Negotiating a Care Package
Chapter Twenty-Two – Dealing With Emergencies
Chapter Twenty-Three – Medical Treatment
Chapter Twenty-Four – Things to Come?