Trusts & Trustees
Published on 12 November 2019
Abstract: Today, there is worldwide consensus that ageing has become an issue of global concern. The frail elderly, together with other vulnerable sections of the community, may turn to adult guardianship, a mechanism for planning for and the protection of individuals with cognitive impairment. There is, however, an inherent tension at the heart of the legal institution of adult guardianship: although it protects individuals with cognitive impairment from potential abuse and exploitation, that protection is often provided by subjecting individuals to the plenary authority of their guardians. Against this backdrop, this article critically examines the struggle with the tension within the adult guardianship regime in Hong Kong and, drawing on reforms in major jurisdictions with long-standing experience of guardianship experimentation, explores the features of a guardianship system that tackles this dilemma.