legal rights of individuals with learning disabilities

Securing Rights: A Legal
Sophy Miles
Adult Social Care Law
A series of statutes dealing with
provision of services and support
What the judges say:
“Tortuous” “Labyrinthine”
“Bristles with intricate regulation”
Adult Social Care Law
Concerns services and support.
Not to “regulate, control, compel,
restrain, confine or coerce.”
• Complaints procedures
• Onbudsman
• Judicial Review in the High Court
• There is no Adult Protection legislation
• Local authorities have a duty to investigate
cases where abuse and neglect may have
taken place
• Law Commission on reform of Adult Social
Care Law recommends a legal framework
but no new compulsory powers
Compulsory powers
• The Mental Health Act 1983
• S47 National Assistance Act 1948
• Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Guiding principles
• The Human Rights Act 1998
• Rights to life, liberty, respect for privacy and family life
• The Mental Capacity Act 2005
• Principles in decision-making for those who cannot make decisions
themselves• Involving
• Consulting
• Looking for the least restrictive alternative
• The Equality Act 2010
Residence disputes
“If the State is to justify removing children
from their parents or vulnerable adults
from their relatives, partners, friends or
carers it can only be on the basis that the
State is going to provide a better quality of
care than that which they have hitherto
been receiving”
Recent Cases
• JE v DE and others
• G v E and others
• Hillingdon v Neary
Closing comments
• “…This right to freedom is a
fundamental constitutional
right…..Decisions about incapacitated
people must always be determined by
their best interests but the starting
point is their right to respect for family
life where it exists”