DOLS reform delayed

The Law Commission has announced today that the next stage in the reform of DOLS – namely the publication of the Commission’s final report and draft legislation- will now be in March 2017, rather than before the end of the year.

In an email to stakeholders, Tim Spencer-Lane, who leads the project wrote:

“The reason for the delay is the complexity of the task of drafting legislation on such an important issue. It is vitally important to get the law right here. Badly drafted, over-complicated law is a big part of the problem with the current DoLS, and we do not want to fall into the same trap again.

We are very aware that the project deadline was brought forward at the request of the Department of Health and for a good reason: there is an urgent need for the system to be improved. We know too that many stakeholders are waiting for our report and draft Bill and will be disappointed with any delay.  For this we apologise.

But we are convinced that it is far more important to deliver a fully completed draft Bill that can deliver effective safeguards to those being deprived of liberty. We are also confident that our  new publication date will not delay the introduction of legislation into Parliament, should the Government wish to do so.   It will be for Government to decide how to take forward the recommendations and draft Bill.”

We will continue to update readers as soon as there is further news.



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