Court of Protection (DoLS) cases
The Court of Protection is the division of the High Court that deals exclusively with Mental Capacity Act cases. The DoLS are part of the Mental Capacity Act. The rulings of the Court give guidance to professionals and organisations in how to interpret the Act.
We list here some of the most significant rulings of the Court. The list is regularly updated as new cases come in, the most recent cases being nearest the top of the list. If you have any suggestions of cases you would like us to include please let us know.
Many of the links on this page come from the excellent resources on the website of 39 Essex Chambers.
We naturally update our DoLS training to take account of all Court rulings.
Trying to clarify who can authorise the deprivation of liberty of people under the age of 18. May well go further to the Supreme Court as the Appeal Court has partially overruled the judgements of the Court of Protection.
The Judge in this case said that wherever covert medication is used as part of a package of care then consideration must be given as to whether the covert medication needs to be authorised under DoLS.
Manuela Sykes was 89 years old in 2014. She was a political activist who had stood several times for Parliament as a Liberal, and later a Labour candidate. She was described as a "firebrand". By 2014, suffering from dementia and self neglect, she was subject to a standard DoLS authorisation in a residential care home in central London. She objected to being there, and also objected to any attempt to hide her identity in reports of her court case.
39 year old man with learning disabilities, case went to Supreme Court to decide whether he was being deprived of his liberty, led to the "Acid Test" judgement (along with MIG and MEG below).
2 sisters with learning disabilities, case went to Supreme Court to establish whether they were being deprived of their liberty. "MIG and MEG" are also referred to as "P and Q" in the reports.
X was a very intelligent retired lawyer who had Korsakoff's Syndrome, which caused fluctuating capacity. He challenged the professionals' assessment that he lacked capacity to decide where to live and how to care for himself. He was being held under a DoLS authorisation, which in turn rested on that assessment of his lack of capacity.
Milton Keynes Council was heavily criticised for removing RR (an 81 year old woman) from her own home due to a Safeguarding concern, but then not telling her son, delaying the DoLS authorisation and letting the investigation drag on for too long.
An 82-year-old woman being held in a care home challenged the DoLS authorisation on the grounds that she did understand the risks of caring for herself at home (ie that she had capacity).
An 18 year old man with severe learning disabilities and autism was regularly restrained and placed in a seclusion cell called the "Blue Room", This happened as frequently as 6 times per day, but there was no DoLS authorisation in place.
19 year old man with autism and learning disabilities was unlawfully deprived of his liberty for 12 months by local authority.
48 year old man with autism and learning disabilities was unlawfully deprived of his liberty for 6 months. The case went all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, and ultimately led to the introduction of DoLS in 2009.
Well before the DoLS, but an interesting case that went to the European Court of Human Rights, concerning a suspected Mafia boss who was obliged to live on a island by the Italian government. It brings up the difference between restriction and deprivation of liberty, and was referenced in the Cheshire West/MIG & MEG cases in 2014.