Tim Spencer-Lane

Tim is a lawyer at the Law Commission for England and Wales. He was responsible for the Law Commission’s review of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards under the Mental Capacity Act 2015. A final report, which included a draft Bill, was published in March 2017. Tim was previously in charge of the UK Law Commissions’ review of the regulation of health and social care professionals. This proposed a single legal framework for all the UK regulators including the GMC, NMC and HCPC. The final report, including a draft Bill, was published in 2014. Tim was also responsible for the Law Commission’s review of adult social care. The final report was published in 2011 and formed the basis of the Care Act 2014 and the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. He is the author of the Care Act Manual (Sweet and Maxwell) and a General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Social Services and Child Care Law.
Contributed to


Children, consent and deprivation of liberty
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains the statutory framework and development of case law such as Birmingham City Council v D [2019] and Cheshire West, in relation to deprivation of children’s liberty. It also considers the new changes brought by the Law Commission Report on Mental Capacity and the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 (MCA 2005) as well as practical considerations for practitioners.

Private deprivations of liberty
Practice notes

This Practice Note considers the concept of ‘private’ deprivations of liberty for the purposes of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It deals with situations where the state may be held responsible for a deprivation of liberty even though the relevant care or treatment has not been arranged and funded by the state but by private persons—for instance, care services might have been directly arranged by the person’s own family and paid for from the person’s funds or funds provided by family in a hospital, care home or domestic setting. It clarifies the powers and duties of the state arising from Article 5, relevant case law and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It also covers the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 and the changes this legislation will introduce.

Deprivation of Liberty (DoLS)—training materials

These training materials consist of template PowerPoint slides that can be used as the basis of one or more training seminars on issues arising in relation to deprivation. It is anticipated that those providing training will use these slides as a helpful starting point for their presentations and then amend them accordingly to reflect their particular circumstances.

Practice areas


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