Article 5 - Right to liberty and security

Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.

No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law...

What does this right mean?

Unless identified in one of a range of narrow exceptions, such as preventing harm to yourself or others through lawful arrest or detention, no one should be unnecessarily detained against their will.

When could this be relevant?

  • Restrictions on older people’s movements in care homes such as locked doors or excessive restraint with bed guards for long periods

  • Informal detention of patients who do not have the capacity to decide whether they would like to be admitted into hospital, for example those with learning disabilities or dementia

  • Restricting access to independent living aids.

Story example of Article 5 issue

Frances has dementia and wanders around her care home in the evenings. She has never attempted to leave the grounds and her wandering has posed no significant problem to any other individuals in the home. Lately the home has been forced to make a quarter of staff redundant and as a result there are not enough staff to properly supervise all of the residents all of the time. As a result Frances has been locked in her room overnight so that she cannot wander around and potentially injure herself. She finds being locked in her room extremely distressing and does not understand why the new rule has been imposed.