Supreme Court gives landmark judgment on deprivation of liberty: summary and seminar from counsel in the case

19.03.14 | |

Today the Supreme Court has handed down its landmark judgment on the meaning of deprivation of liberty in the social care context. In allowing both appeals the Supreme Court has stated that the acid test for determining whether someone is deprived of their liberty is whether they are not free to leave and whether they are under continuous supervision and control. The Court makes it clear that the presence or absence of objection from the person concerned, the purpose behind the placement and the "relative normality" of the person's life are all irrelevant factors when considering whether a deprivation of liberty exists.


Ian Wise QC, Paul Bowen QC and Martha Spurrier, all of whom were counsel in the case, summarise and comment on the judgment here.


On 28 April 2014 Ian, Paul and Martha will be discussing the practical and legal implications of the case for practitioners and policy in a seminar at Doughty Street Chambers. This will include consideration of the recent report from the House of Lords Committee on the Mental Capacity Act 2005. You can register for the event by emailing or contact Jennifer Noone on 0207 404 1313.


Ian Wise QC, Stephen Broach and Martha Spurrier acted for Mind and the National Autistic Society. Paul Bowen QC acted for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

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