Tuesday 14 March 2017

Mental Health - Law Commission proposes replacing Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLs)

In 2014, the Supreme Court decided the Cheshire West case - [2014] UKSC 19.   The case was about the criteria for judging whether living arrangements made for a mentally incapacitated person amounted to a deprivation of liberty.  If they do, then, then the deprivation has to be authorised, either by a court or by the procedures known as the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLs), set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.  

The Law Commission has examined the law in this area and, on 13th March, issued a report. 

The Commission notes that Cheshire West widened the definition of who was to be subject to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and this has placed increased administrative pressures on local authorities.  As a result, in 2016, 100,000 people who required the authorisation did not receive it.  The Department of Health recognised the issue, and asked the Law Commission to review the legal framework to ensure suitable protections were in place.
The Commission has recommended replacing DoLs with new Liberty Protection Safeguards.

See also Age UK - Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards - Factsheet 62, February 2017.

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