Adult Social Care 2017 LocalGovernmentLawyer 16 This article summarises the Law Commission’s report Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty, published on 13 March 2017. The report (which includes a draft Bill) is the culmination of a three year review of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (“DoLS”) under the Mental Capacity Act. The Law Commission’s report calls for the DoLS to be replaced, and sets out a new scheme called the Liberty Protection Safeguards. Background to the report The Law Commission’s review of the DoLS began in 2014 following a reference from the Department of Health. It was a response to a report by a House of Lords Select Committee which concluded that the DoLS legislation was “not fit for purpose”, and to a decision of the Supreme Court (known as “Cheshire West”) which gave a significantly wider interpretation of deprivation of liberty than had been previously applied. In July 2015 the Law Commission published a consultation paper setting out provisional proposals for law reform. An interim statement was published in May 2016. The publication of the final report marks the completion of the review. The case for reform The Law Commission argues that there is a compelling case for replacing the DoLS. It refers to “widespread agreement” that the DoLS are overly technical and legalistic, and “too often fail to achieve any positive outcomes for the person concerned or their family”. The report argues that the DoLS are not capable of dealing with the increased numbers of people considered to be deprived of their liberty following Cheshire West and requiring safeguards. It points to widespread reports of backlogs, breached statutory timescales and increased workloads for the public sector. The Law Commission therefore calls for the DoLS to be replaced “as a matter of pressing urgency”. The Liberty Protection Safeguards The Law Commission’s replacement scheme is called the Liberty Protection Safeguards. The following provides a brief overview of the key elements. Fit for purpose Tim Spencer-Lane sets out the Law Commission’s proposed new scheme to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).