Responding to new figures showing that the number of guardianship orders has risen by 12% in the last year and 149% in the past decade, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
"Use of guardianship orders has risen rapidly in recent years. For people who do not have the capacity to make decisions of their own, these orders can be an essential form of support.
"However, we must also be vigilant to the fact that the present system can be unnecessarily rigid and circumstances can arise in which vulnerable or disabled people feel that their wishes are not being properly taken into account. Mental health experts have also complained that it can be a complex and time-consuming process.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats have been calling for a review of the present system for some time to ensure that it supports autonomy so far as is possible. We need to protect individual rights through a new system of staged guardianships."