What is deprivation of liberty? The Supreme Court speaks

The Supreme Court has overturned the Court of Appeal in the cases of P (by the Official Solicitor) v Cheshire West and Chester Council, and P & Q (or MIG & MEG) (by the official Solicitor) v Surrey County Council [2014] UKSC 19. In what is the most far-reaching human rights case heard in the UK for a decade, the Supreme Court reversed the Cheshire West decision by seven Justices to zero and the Surrey decision by four to three.

The cases rested on what is the proper test to be applied to determine where there is a deprivation of liberty when mentally incapacitated people are required to live in a place when they could not (and therefore did not) consent. These places could be hospitals or care homes, but in the three appeals before the Supreme Court they were an independent supported living placement, a unit for learning disabled young people and a foster home. If they are deprived of their liberty, article 5 of the European Convention is engaged and protections including periodic reviews of their detention are triggered. Their detention must be authorised and reviewed by the Court of Protection. Where the statutory scheme applies, in hospitals and care homes, detained residents fall within the so-called DOLS (deprivation of liberty safeguards), which is an administrative procedure whereby people may be detained without the authority of a court (albeit with the right of appeal to one)…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Kings Chambers briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Analysis from The Lawyer

  • Manchester

    The regional bar - A Bright Tomorrow

    The effects of recent changes to civil litigation are only just beginning to be felt, but barristers in the regions have several reasons to be cheerful


36 Young Street
M3 3FT