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Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Summary

1. This is a summary of our final report on Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty, published on 13 March 2017. Pages 1 to 9 summarise our main recommendations and their context. Pages 10 onwards give further detail. Full details are in the report. A glossary explaining some of the terminology used in the report and in this summary is attached at page 27. The purpose of the project was to review the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and consider how the law should protect people who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to receive care or treatment and lack the capacity to consent to this. Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”) guarantees the right to personal liberty and provides that no-one should be deprived of liberty in an arbitrary fashion. If a person is deprived of liberty then certain safeguards must be provided, including entitlement to bring legal proceedings to challenge the deprivation of liberty. Such situations also engage an individual’s right to private and family life under Article 8 of the ECHR.

2. The project was announced in 2014. Its first stage led to the publication of a consultation paper in July 2015 setting out provisional proposals for law reform. Following consultation we published an interim statement in May 2016. The publication of our final report marked the completion of the project. These documents, together with an analysis of the consultation responses that we received, are available on the mental capacity and deprivation of liberty project’s page of the Law Commission’s website, at