a legal term, defined as: "duly qualified: having sufficient capacity,
ability, or authority [Black's Law Dictionary].
capacity is a functional term that may be defined as: the
"mental (or cognitive) ability to understand the nature and
effects of one's acts."
many ways to assess mental capacity. Three common models are
the philosophical/legal, medical, and functional models. Each has
significant benefits and
limitations. PARADISE-2, a behavior-based
protocol, maximizes the strengths
of previous models, while minimizing their
limitations. Designed for potential litigation
settings, PARADISE-2 is used by attorneys, law enforcement,
social service personnel, physicians, and nurses in many parts of the
Western Hemisphere. PARADISE-2 was used by the United
Nation's International Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia ("ICTY") in the war-crimes trial of Gen. Pavle Strugar
- the first trial of its kind since the
Nuremberg Trials. Due, in part, to PARADISE-2, the
Tribunal created new international legal precedent
affecting all future war-crime tribunals.
Specific competence, such as the competence to create a Will ("testamentary
capacity"), enter into a contract ("contractual
capacity"), or make a gift ("donative
capacity"), is often at
issue in litigation involving the elderly.