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Deprivation of Liberty: Moving Forward

Safeguards will be delayed until at least the next general election (anticipated to be in Autumn 2024). Even if a new government is keen to implement Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), any reform will now be some years away.

With the delay to the Liberty Protection Safeguards it is more important than ever to ensure the existing scheme for deprivation of liberty works, including the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and the role of the Court of Protection and High Court.

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The LPS delay – what does it mean and what is the way forward?

• the delay of LPS beyond the life of this Parliament

• applying LPS thinking to DoLS

• the refocus on DoLS and community deprivation of liberty


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Mr Alex Ruck-Keene KC (Hon)


Alex Ruck Keene KC (Hon) is an experienced barrister, writer and educator. His practice is focused on mental capacity, mental health and healthcare law. He also writes extensively, and is the creator of the website Mental Capacity Law and Policy, providing resources and expert commentary on some of the most difficult mental capacity issues.  Alex now spends much of his time on policy matters.  He is currently a consultant on the Law Commission’s Disabled Children Social Care project, having previously a consultant to their Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Project.  Throughout 2018, he was the legal adviser to the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983. He was a specialist adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights for their 2020 inquiry into the human rights implications of the Government’s response to COVID-19 and specialist adviser into their 2021-2022 inquiry into human rights in the care setting.  In March 2022, Alex was made an honorary KC, reflecting his contributions to mental capacity and mental health law outside the court room.


The interaction between DOLS and the Mental Health Act - Case Study

• mental capacity and best interests

• case studies in practice


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Ms Julie Carr

Clinical Legislation Manager, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust& Decision-making and Mental Capacity Specialist Committee Member, NICE

Julie is an Occupational Therapist. She has worked in the Legal Services Department for South West Yorkshire Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust since 2007, currently holding the position of Clinical Legislation Manger. She has clinical experience as a care co-ordinator and team manager. She practiced as an Independent Best Interests Assessor and has also provided capacity assessments for the Court of Protection. As part of her current role Julie is responsible for the Trusts MCA/DoLS mandatory training programme including class room based training, the development of supporting e-learning programmes and supporting materials for clinical staff, service users and carers.

Julie was a member of the NICE Guidelines Committee for Decision-Making and Capacity, and a member of the Quality Standards Group for Decision-making and Capacity. In addition to her work with NICE, Julie is the Mental Health Law Representative for the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. In this capacity she was involved in the development of the MCA 2005, the 2019 Amendments, and is active in this role with the Reform of the MHA.

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