Westminster Legal Policy Forum

Deprivation of Liberty - implementing new mental capacity legislation, human rights issues, and addressing challenges for professionals working in the system

Morning, Tuesday, 12th November 2019

Central London


This seminar will discuss the practical implications of reforms emanating from the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act. The Act is designed to simplify the authorisation of health and social care arrangements whilst ensuring that patients are not unnecessarily being deprived of their liberty.

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss implementation issues, including the Code of Practice for the Liberty Protection Safeguards - which outlines guidance on operational aspects and decision making protocols on deprivation of liberty - at the time that the Government is expected to be consulting on the Code’s usefulness and effectiveness.  

The agenda includes keynote contributions from Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Chair, National Mental Capacity Forum and a senior speaker confirmed from the Office of the Public Guardian.

Areas for discussion in the agenda include:                                                       

  • The route to Mental Capacity reforms - the Law Commission’s initial report and findings, and how government has taken this forward into policy reforms;
  • Implementing the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill - including:
    • Resourcing for the reformed system;
    • Education and training of practitioners;
    • The new roles of stakeholders following the Liberty Protection Safeguards; and
    • The way relationships are managed between care providers, professionals working in the system and those in care.
  • Priorities for the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) - with the new Public Guardian due to be appointed, delegates will discuss issues around lasting power of attorney and the recently published OPG Improving how we support adults at risk safeguarding strategy;
  • The role of the Judiciary and access to redress - examining the Act in relation to concerns over the appeal procedures, the complexity of the redress schemes and cases being wrongly brought to the Court of Protection, as well as the use of alternative methods of resolving disputes; and
  • Next steps for policy - with the full reforms anticipated to be implemented by Spring 2020, how government should continue to work with those affected to ensure that concerns are addressed, and effectively implement the Liberty Safeguard Protections.

We expect discussion to also reflect further developments including:

Keynote Speaker

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff

Chair, National Mental Capacity Forum

Keynote Speakers

Senior speaker from the Office of the Public Guardian

Tim Spencer-Lane

Lawyer, Law Commission and Lead, Law Commission Report on Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty

Nick Goodwin

Public Guardian and Chief Executive, Office of the Public Guardian

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff

Chair, National Mental Capacity Forum


Baroness Browning

Vice President, Alzheimer’s Society and Vice President, National Autistic Society


Jonathan Senker

Chief Executive, VoiceAbility

Professor Rosie Harding

Chair, Law and Society, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham

Amanda Weston QC

Barrister, Garden Court Chambers

Denzil Lush

Trustee, Headway and former Senior Judge, Court of Protection

Sheree Green

Director, Greenchurch Legal Services; Chair, Mental Health and Disability Committee, The Law Society; Member, The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and Member, Solicitors for the Elderly