Deprivation of Liberty applications post Cheshire West: The President states the obvious, but does he give a solution?

Posted on: May 9th, 2014 by Jess Flanagan

The President of the Family Court, and Court of Protection – Sir James Munby, yesterday heard a series of deprivation of liberty cases following his decision in Cheshire West being overturned by the Supreme Court in March. This article in the Telegraph,  today explains how he commented on how the Court should be braced for a surge in application.

From reading the judgment and knowing that the court has taken this on board, we know that the Court of Protection is braced for a surge of applications to authorise an individual’s placement  in supported care & home placements. Personally, I’m still not convinced s21A applications will increase significantly (if P is in a gilded cage he may not wish to challenge any authorisation). But what I wanted was a solution to deal with the increase in applications? I’m hoping that he did but this article just doesn’t set it out. Hopefully word will trickle out shortly, but in the meantime I am aware that there is some consideration being given to a short form application for authorisations in supported living and independent placements.

Once that has been dealt with – the next step will be to lobby for non means tested legal aid for those types of applications, as well as s21A challenges.  

Going back to Press reporting of Court of Protection issues, as I more frequently do now, I am concerned again by the title of the piece. Not all people now found to be deprived of their liberty will be so against their will, as compliance in care is no longer a factor to be taken into account when considering whether an individual is deprived of their liberty. Another plea for the press to get it right!

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