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Deprivation of Liberty in Mental Capacity Law and Practice: A socio-legal study of the new Liberty Protection Safeguards

Birmingham Law School

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About the Project

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 introduced a new legal framework for protecting people with mental capacity impairments from being unlawfully deprived of their liberty through care and treatment arrangements. The Liberty Protection Safeguards are expected to come into force in 2020, to replace the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. As this new system comes into force, there will be significant changes in how disabled people’s freedom is protected in law and society. The implementation of this new framework provides an ideal opportunity to evaluate how well disabled people’s rights to liberty and security of the person (as protected by Article 5 ECHR, and Article 14 UN CRPD) are protected by this new law.

Applications and enquiries are invited from candidates who wish to develop a doctoral research project exploring how the new Liberty Protection Safeguards work in practice. Projects using feminist and critical theoretical frameworks and empirical, socio-legal methodological approaches would be particularly welcomed. Proposals relating to legal contexts anywhere in the world are welcome, as are comparative approaches to mental capacity law. For more information on Professor Harding’s research, see her university profile at:

To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at:

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Funding Notes

Birmingham Law School can support excellent candidates to apply for research funding from the ESRC Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership Socio-Legal Pathway or the AHRC Midlands 4 Cities Doctoral Training Partnership
Further funding opportunities include scholarships from the College of Arts and Law. Full details of Postgraduate funding at the University of Birmingham can be found at
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