Deprivation of Liberty

If someone has lost capacity, some decisions about their care may need to be authorised by the court to make sure their human rights are protected.
If you're dealing with this situation, an expert solicitor can help you through the process.

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The Short of it

  • When someone has lost capacity to make decisions for themselves,

    someone else may need to authorise the care they need on their behalf.

  • Some care decisions may infringe the person's human rights, for example, if they are no longer free to leave their accommodation.

    If this is the case, the decision has to be authorised by a court.

  • You may be told by a social worker that you need a court order to authorise care for your loved one,

    even though you are their Attorney. If so, you need expert advice.

  • Everything we do at Watermans is about getting you the resolution you need

    and providing Straightforward legal advice. It should be that simple.

  • The Long of it

    Deprivation of liberty

    What is deprivation of liberty?

    When someone has lost the capacity to make decisions for themselves, they will not be able to lawfully consent to certain decisions about their care. If a decision about an adult with incapacity would result in them being “under continuous supervision and not being free to leave” their accommodation, this potentially infringes their human rights. The legal term for that situation is deprivation of liberty.

    This may be necessary and appropriate to keep the person safe and well. However, the law requires that a proper legal process be followed so as to safeguard and respect the person’s human rights.

    How can we help?

    How can Watermans help with a deprivation of liberty case?

    Your loved one may have planned ahead by appointing you as their Attorney so that you could manage their affairs when they no longer could and wouldn’t have to go to court.

    However, if a decision made by an Attorney would lead to the person with incapacity being deprived of their liberty, the court has to authorise that decision. A Power of Attorney isn’t enough (unless it includes this specific authorisation).

    Common situations are when a person with incapacity doesn’t need to be in hospital but won’t agree to go into a care home, even though they can no longer live independently – or where someone needs to be restrained to receive personal care and maintain their dignity.

    Usually, you will need to apply to court for a guardianship order authorising the decision. Our team has extensive experience of applying for this type of order. The rest of the Power of Attorney is still valid, so you can continue doing other things for the person.

    Maybe you are the person who has been deprived of your liberty, and you think it wasn’t done properly.  Let us know as we may be able to help.

    Why Watermans?

    Why should I choose Watermans to act in my deprivation of liberty case?

    We’re experts in family law and we know our stuff – but we’re also normal people you can have a real conversation with. We don’t use legal jargon (or Latin), we give straightforward advice, and we won’t judge or patronise you.

    Coming from a range of backgrounds and with our own life experiences to draw on, we understand and empathise with how stressful family disputes can be. We know how important it is to trust your lawyer and that you need to know we’re in your corner.

    Our aim is to work in partnership with you to help resolve things quickly and cost-effectively so you can move forward with your life.

    Get in touch with us

    Everything we do at Watermans is about getting you the resolution you need and making that process straightforward. Start the process by sending us your details below or calling us on 0131 555 7055

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    Our Family Law expert

    “People often say to me that family law must be a depressing job – but I’ve never felt that. What we do makes a difference. I love working with my clients to understand their stories, help them work out where they want to get to, and collaborate with them to achieve their goals. Seeing people come through it and embark on a new stage of their lives is a great feeling.”

    Dianne Millen, Head of Family Law