Streamlining: judicial authorisation of deprivation of liberty (£)
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
 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.