I reproduce below the email that has just been sent to sent to consultees and other stakeholders updating on the status of the project (nb, I am afraid that I’m not able to comment further on this or the project itself).
I am writing to inform you that unfortunately the publication of our final report and draft bill will be delayed. We had planned to publish by the end of 2016, but we now expect to publish in March 2017.
The reason for the delay is the complexity of the task of drafting legislation on such an important issue. It is vitally important to get the law right here. Badly drafted, over-complicated law is a big part of the problem with the current DoLS, and we do not want to fall into the same trap again.
We are very aware that the project deadline was brought forward at the request of the Department of Health and for a good reason: there is an urgent need for the system to be improved. We know too that many stakeholders are waiting for our report and draft Bill and will be disappointed with any delay. For this we apologise.
But we are convinced that it is far more important to deliver a fully completed draft Bill that can deliver effective safeguards to those being deprived of liberty. We are also confident that our new publication date will not delay the introduction of legislation into Parliament, should the Government wish to do so. It will be for Government to decide how to take forward the recommendations and draft Bill.”