Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2018, which commits signatories to delivering civil and political rights to people with disabilities, and to the progressive realisation of social and economic rights.

Article 14 of the UNCRPD sets out that signatories shall ensure that “persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others:

(a) Enjoy the right to liberty and security of person;

(b) Are not deprived of their liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily, and that any deprivation of

liberty is in conformity with the law, and that the existence of a disability shall in no

case justify a deprivation of liberty”.

To meet our obligations under Art. 14 of the UNCRPD, legislation is required to provide procedural safeguards to ensure that people who cannot consent to their care arrangements in relevant facilities are not unlawfully deprived of their liberty.

A public consultation was undertaken in this regard in 2018 and the report of the consultation, including a key findings report with both Plain English and Easy Read versions are available below.

Read the key findings report here

Read the Plain English key findings report here

Read the Easy Read key findings report here

Read the public consultation report here

An Advisory Group, convened in 2017 in order to assist in the development of the legislation, includes representation from across the Department of Health, the Department of Justice and Equality, HSE, Director of the Decision Support Service, National Disability Authority (NDA) and Sage Advocacy. The most recent meeting of this group took place on 13 June 2019.

While a number of complex policy and legal issues remain to be resolved, every effort is being made to progress the development of legislation as quickly as possible.

For information on this policy area, please contact the Older People’s Policy Unit at olderpeople’