July 2015 New Deprivation of Liberty Proposals Planned


The government has brought forward the deadline for the Law Commission to finalise proposals for a legal framework to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (Dols).

An accelerated timetable will see the commission publish draft legislation and detailed proposals for a new deprivation of liberty scheme by the end of 2016 as opposed to summer 2017 as originally planned.

The Law Commission is reviewing both the Dols scheme – which covers care homes and hospitals – and the Court of Protection process for authorising deprivation of liberty in community placements such as supported living. The new framework is expected to cover both community and residential care settings.


The government ordered the Law Commission review amid concerns from practitioners that the system as it stands was overly-bureaucratic and not fit-for-purpose.

Those fears have intensified in the wake of the landmark Cheshire West Supreme Court ruling last March. The ruling triggered a tenfold rise in Dols casework and the Law Commission were asked to bring forward their work in order to find a sustainable long-term solution to the current pressures.

However even with the accelerated timetable for the Law Commissions work, legislation is unlikely to reach Parliament before 2017 at the earliest.


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