Coroner's Office

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding Orders (DoLS)

From Monday 3 April 2017 the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 was amended so that people subject to authorisations under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (known as DoLS) will no longer be considered to be 'otherwise in state detention' for the purposes of Section 1 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

The effect of this is that for any death that occurs on or after 3 April and where the deceased was subject to a DoLS authorisation the coroner will no longer have a duty to conduct an inquest in all cases. This change will also apply in other cases where the deceased their deprivation of liberty authorised through provisions in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. 

The change in the law will not apply to any death that occurred before Monday 3 April 2017 and inquests will still be required in those cases. Such deaths should be reported to the coroner in all cases even where the report is made after the 3rd April. 

For any person with a DoLS authorisation or other deprivation of liberty authorisation under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 who dies on the 3rd April, or any time after, their death need only be reported to the coroner where the cause of death is unknown or where there are concerns that the cause of death was unnatural or violent, including where there is any concern about the care given having contributed to the persons death.


ID: 6756, revised 02/02/2023