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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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Streamlining: judicial authorisation of deprivation of liberty (£)
Date:30 SEP 2014
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Family Law

When the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in P v Cheshire West and Chester Council and Another; P and Q v Surrey County Council  [2014] UKSC 19,  [2014] COPLR 313 it was generally considered that the decision firstly extended Art 5 provisions cardinal to protecting rights of liberty and security to those who lack capacity receiving care and support from the state and secondly widened the interpretation of what a deprivation of liberty means. The effect has been to increase enormously the numbers of people lacking capacity (P) who require their arrangements to be authorised where they amount to a deprivation of liberty. Consequently, concerns were raised on the practical and procedural implications for the Court of Protection of the increase in the applications to an already overloaded Court.

It is too early to predict precise numbers but the range of services requiring authorisation now includes domicilary care at one end of the scale to high level secure care at the other. Further because of the broader interpretation of deprivation of liberty brought about by the Supreme Court, placements in hospitals and care homes which previously did not attract protection, now do so. Providers, particularly local authorities who would have used the Sch A1 administrative procedure previously, find themselves unable resource the increased number of applications immediately and instead seek authorisation from the court.


The full version of this article appears in the October 2014 issue of Family Law.

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