Liberty means being free to do the things you want to do and live where you want to live.

Deprivation of Liberty means taking away the freedom of a person.

This is common in Court of Protection cases and an issue that needs to be looked at very carefully.

If you can make an informed choice, then you are entitled to say no to a particular course of action. However, there are times when your informed choice might be overridden, for example, if you are detained under the Mental Health Act and temporarily incapacitated.

Deprivation of liberty could take place anywhere. For example, in a care home, hospital or even in your own home.

On occasions, it is not possible to make your own decision and an individual will have to be deprived of their liberty as to do so is deemed to be in a person’s “Best Interests”.

What are the Deprivation of Liberty safeguards?

  • Is an individual aged 18 or older;
  • Is he or she suffering from a disorder or disability of the mind?
  • Does he or she lack the capacity to give consent to their care or treatment.
  • Is the individual receiving care or treatment that might amount to a Deprivation of Liberty under Article 5 of the European Court of Human Rights.

It is the responsibility of the supervisory body to determine whether a person has to be under a deprivation of liberty safeguard.

If the deprivation of liberty is made, this is limited to a period up to 12 months. Thereafter, there will be a further review and consideration of whether a less restrictive course of action might be available or appropriate.