Continuing rise in deprivation of liberty cases

Court of Protection

The number of deprivation of liberty cases referred to the Court of Protection jumped by more than 100 per cent last year, the Ministry of Justice has reported.

Under the Mental Capacity Act, living and care arrangements for some vulnerable and disabled people require court authorisation if they involve restriction on their freedom of movement above a certain level, in particular community placements. These are legally referred to as ‘deprivations of liberty’.

In a new statistics quarterly, the Ministry reveals that there were 3,143 referrals to the Court of Protection for authorisation last year, compared to only 1,493 in 2015. Two years previously just 109 applications were made.

This increase is in line with previously reported rises and reflects the continuing influence of a ruling by the Supreme Court in 2014. Now referred to as the Cheshire West case, this had the effect of making requirements for authorisation more stringent and thereby increased the number of referrals to the Court of Protection.

Read the full bulletin here.

Image by Joel Kramer via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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