The Right to Freedom and Safety: Reform of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Housing LIN has issued a number of resources to support your understanding and application of the legislation and codes associated with the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

Following the Cheshire West ruling by the Supreme Court in 2014 (reported on our pages), the definition of deprivation of liberty was signficantly widened, meaning more people were subsequently considered to have their liberty deprived. There was a ten-fold increase in the number of deprivation of liberty applications following the judgment. In March 2017, the Law Commission published a report and Draft Bill recommending an overhaul of the DoLS process. The Government responded to this review in March 2018 and has said that it will bring forward legislation ' when parliamentary time allows. '

In addition, the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has carried out its own inquiry into DoLS and the Law Commission's proposed scheme. This JCHR reported and concludes that the DoLS system is broken and that urgent action to reform it is taken by the Government.   

The Housing LIN thanks all members who have responded to our call for views on the inquiries over recent years: your contributions have been reflected in our responses to the consultations and enabled us to continue to have a dialogue with the Law Commission and JCHR to ensure that the housing perspective is taken note of.

Please let us know your thoughts on the JCHR report - contact Vivien Lyons, the Housing LIN's dementia lead at: