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Supreme court ruling under the spotlight at seminar

Barristers involved in a high-profile Supreme Court ruling on the deprivation of liberty have spoken at a seminar in York, organised by Langleys Solicitors.

The Supreme Court ruled that two sisters with learning disabilities and a man with conditions including cerebral palsy and Down’s syndrome, who are unable to make their own decisions about their care and welfare, are being deprived of their liberty.

The Supreme Court ruled that these three people are “under continuous supervision and control” and are “not free to leave”.

Thus they are deprived of their liberty. Safeguards must be in place to ensure such protective care regimes are regularly and independently reviewed.

Jenni Richards QC and barrister Joseph O’Brien have addressed the York seminar, explaining how the judgments impact on everyday practice in the legal, clinical and social care sectors.

Christian Walsh, a local Best Interests Assessor, also addressed the event.

Susan McKendry, head of Langleys’ health and social care unit, said:

“This judgment will have an immediate impact on those caring for and working with people who lack mental capacity to decide about their care and welfare due to dementia, learning disability, brain injury or mental health difficulties.

“The judgment provides a clear test for what amounts to a deprivation of liberty.

“Independent safeguarding reviews will be required.

“This should lead to the better protection of people who lack capacity to make their own decisions.”

Susan McKendry
Susan McKendry

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