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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

22 MAY 2014

Deprivation of Liberty after Cheshire West: urgent pleas - assistance required

Deprivation of Liberty after Cheshire West: urgent pleas - assistance required


As many of you may know, the President of the Court of Protection is convening a significant hearing next month to consider the court's approach to authorising deprivations of liberty in light of the Supreme Court's decision in the Cheshire West and Surrey cases. Broadly speaking, the court will be considering applications made relation to the following three classes of case:

(1) Those within the scope of Sch A1 to the MCA 2005 (ie in hospitals and registered care homes) in respect of whom the legislative requirements cannot be met due to lack of resources arising from the high number of such persons and the resulting high volume of assessments;

(2) Those outside the scope of Sch A1 (ie not in hospitals or registered care homes) whose deprivation of liberty requires court authorisation;

(3) Those aged 16 and over being cared for in a family home (whether with relatives, foster carers, adult shared lives providers or other arrangements for their care) but with a sufficient degree of State involvement to engage Art 5(1) ECHR, and whose deprivation of liberty therefore requires court authorisation.

Assistance required

For each of the above three classes, in each local authority area, the court requires indicative figures as to:

(1) The estimated current numbers of individuals;

(2) The costs to local authorities and health providers of complying with DOLS or making applications to the court.

It would also greatly assist if the DOLS statistics for March to May 2014 could be provided by each supervisory body, with some indication as to the change of landscape pre- and post- the Supreme Court's ruling.

Finally, we would welcome any comments or suggestions you may have as to how the Court of Protection might best deal with the sheer volume of applications that is expected.

It is a tall order we know, but your help is required by 4 pm on 28 May 2014. Please can your response be emailed to Neil Allen (neil.allen@39essex.com), who is acting for some of the local authorities.

Disclaimer: this has been prepared by Thirty Nine Essex Street upon the basis of information in the public domain, the hearing before the President on 8 May having been in open court.

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