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Law Society publishes new deprivation of liberty guidance

New guidance on deprivation of liberty has been published by the Law Society. ‘Identifying a deprivation of liberty: a practical guide is designed to assist health and social care practitioners to identify a deprivation of liberty.

According to law firm Clyde & Co, there are two main reasons for this new guidance:

  • Since Cheshire West there have been significant legal developments in respect of those under 18 and those who are receiving life-sustaining treatment. The law is still evolving and it is complex. For instance the guidance itself refers to 2024 judgments which seem to contradict Cheshire West. Practitioners would benefit from updated guidance.
  • The system for authorising deprivations of liberty has been under review, but implementation of a new regime – Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) – has been postponed indefinitely. In the absence of a statutory Code of Practice, the Law Society has updated its 2015 guidance in order to assist practitioners.

The guidance includes many practical examples and factors pointing towards or away from a deprivation of liberty. There are lists of questions to ask to front-line practitioners in order to identify if there is a risk of deprivation of liberty.  

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