Reform of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards examined

20 March 2018

The Joint Committee on Human Rights examines Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards as part of its inquiry into the Right to Freedom and Safety.

Deprivation of Liberty

Hundreds of thousands of people who lack mental capacity are looked after in settings where they are continually supervised and not free to come and go.

In March 2014, in the landmark Cheshire West case the Supreme Court ruled that Article 5 of the ECHR (right to liberty and security) applied in such cases and their care should be subject to lawful authorisation.

The number of applications for Deprivation of Liberty safeguards has increased from 13,700 in the year before the judgment to 195,840 in 2015-16.

Full implementation of the current administrative and legal requirements for everyone affected could cost over £2bn per year.

Committee questions carers and experts


Wednesday 21 March 2018, Committee room 1, Palace of  Westminster.

At 3.15pm

  • Mark Neary, Carer
  • Graham Enderby, Carer
  • Alex Ruck Keene, Barrister 39 Essex Chambers
  • Lucy Series, Research fellow and lecturer in law at the School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University

Topics for discussion

  • What should be the main objective of the Government's proposed reforms to the existing legal framework?
  • Do the Law Commission's proposals for Liberty Protection Safeguards strike the right balance between the need for human rights protection and the need for less bureaucracy?
  • It is four years since the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards were declared unfit for purpose, but there is no clear timetable for replacing them with a human rights compliant scheme.  Should the Government go ahead and implement the Law Commission's proposals urgently?

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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