Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty

03 May 2017

The Law Commission has completed its review of the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

The DoLS aim to protect people who lack mental capacity, but who need to be deprived of liberty so they can be given care and treatment in a hospital or care home.

The DoLS have been criticised since they were introduced for being overly complex and excessively bureaucratic.In March 2014, a House of Lords Select Committee published a detailed report concluding that the DoLS were “not fit for purpose” and recommended that they be replaced. At the same time, a case in the United Kingdom Supreme Court held that far greater numbers of people fell to be dealt with under the DoLS system than had previously been thought.This has placed increasing burdens on local authorities and health and social care practitioners administering the DoLS.

The Law Commission's recommendations, following its review, are now published here (pdf)