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Deprivation of liberty

Someone is deprived of their liberty if they are:

  • Confined to a limited place for a period of time

  • Without consent

  • By the state

If someone falls within these criteria and their detention has not been authorised, then their detention is unlawful.

Legal action, including judicial review, and Human Rights Act claims may follow. We specialise in all these areas for clients who are illegally detained in immigration detention centres, prisons, hospitals, care homes, supported living and foster care placements.

Examples of the clients we have assisted include:

  • A case brought for five victims of torture detained under immigration powers contrary to the Home Office’s published policy which established that all five had been unlawfully detained and secured substantial damages for four of the five claimants.
  • A man who was found to have been unlawfully detained for four and a half months because the judge who had convicted him and sent him to prison had done so under the wrong Act, resulting in a substantial award of compensation.
  • A man with learning disabilities and autism detained in a care home when he was asking to return home to his family home where a care package could be set up to meet his needs, resulting in his immediate return home

The changes under the new Act

The new Act makes several improvements to the Power of Attorney system. Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) are replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) which are much wider in scope. There are two types of LPA: the property and finance LPA, and the personal welfare LPA. These are complex documents, but by way of brief summary:

The Property and Finance LPA

The property and finance LPA allows a person to appoint someone to look after their financial affairs. This can include paying bills, collecting income and benefits, or selling a house. Like an EPA, the Attorney’s power will be subject to any restrictions or conditions the Donor chooses to include.

The Personal Welfare LPA

The personal welfare LPA allows a person to grant an Attorney authority over such matters as where they live; health care; and treatment. It can include the power for the Attorney to give or refuse consent to medical treatment. An example of this would be the donor granting the Attorney power to refuse life sustaining treatment on their behalf.

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