In July 2022, the President of the Family Division launched the national deprivation of liberty (DoL) court. Based at the Royal Courts of Justice, it deals with all new applications seeking authorisation to deprive children of their liberty under the inherent jurisdiction and will run for a 12-month pilot phase initially. Nuffield Family Justice Observatory was invited to collect and publish data on these applications.
The briefing published today highlights high-level data trends during the first eight months of the court pilot. Between July 2022 and February 2023, the national DoL court recorded a total of 903 applications. On average, there have been 113 applications per month. In the most recent month, February 2023, there were 106 applications.
Alongside these briefings we have published a study detailing the needs and characteristics of children subject to DoL applications.