Law Commission recommends DoLs be replaced by Liberty Protection Safeguards ‘with pressing urgency'
The Law Commission has published it's consultation report on the operation of DoLS after the Cheshire West case. They were asked to carry out the review by the Department of Health in 2014 in recognition of the explosion of applications following the decision.
After a public consultation in 2015, the Commission has recommended that the current deprivation of liberty procedure be replaced by Liberty Protection Safeguards. In contrast to DoLS, which simply authorise a ‘deprivation of liberty’, the new safeguards would
“authorise particular arrangements for a person’s care or treatment insofar as the arrangements give rise to a deprivation of liberty. This is an important difference. It focuses attention at the authorisation stage not simply on the binary question of whether a person should be deprived of their liberty or not, but on the question of the ways in which a person may justifiably be deprived of liberty.”
Importantly, this would cover more than one setting so that a fresh application would be unnecessary for say a planned admission to hospital.
In total the Commission makes 44 recommendations and they are set out in Appendix C of the report. They are summarised in the accompanying press release broadly as follows:
A draft Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill can be found in Appendix A.
You can read the full report on the DoH website here and the accompanying press release here.
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