From Mental Health Law Online
ECHR section I:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 , 17 , 18
ECHR section II (Articles 19-51)
ECHR section III (Articles 52-59)
Protocols: 1, 4, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14
Any cases with a hyperlink to this legislation will automatically be added here. There may be other relevant cases without a hyperlink, so please check the mental health case law page.
- AH v West London MH NHS Trust (2011) UKUT 74 (AAC) — (1) Once the threshold tests for establishing a right to a public hearing have been satisfied, Article 6 ECHR (reinforced by Article 13 CRPD) requires that a patient should have the same or substantially equivalent right of access to a public hearing as a non-disabled person who has been deprived of his liberty; such a right can only be denied a patient if enabling that right imposes a truly disproportionate burden on the state. (2) The threshold tests are: (a) is it consistent with the subjective and informed wishes of the applicant (assuming he is competent to make an informed choice)? (b) will it have an adverse effect on his mental health in the short or long term, taking account of the views of those treating him and any other expert views? (c) are there any other special factors for or against a public hearing? (d) can practical arrangements be made for an open hearing without disproportionate burden on the authority? (3) How the right to a public hearing can be ..→
- DD v Lithuania 13469/06 (2012) ECHR 254, (2012) MHLO 29 — Breach of Article 5(4) and Article 6(1) in relation to involuntary admission to a psychiatric institution.
- KD and LD v LB Havering (2009) EW Misc 7 (EWCOP) — At a hearing which was expected to be merely interlocutory, the DJ made final orders as to capacity and residence, and appointed the local authority as personal welfare deputy. (1) The power to deal with cases summarily exists but was exercised unlawfully in this case. It is to be exercised as an alternative to a hearing, for example in an emergency or where little or no contest is anticipated. It is unlikely to be exercised appropriately where there is a serious issue or potential issue as to the appropriateness of deprivation of liberty and so where Articles 5 and 6 are potentially engaged. The DJ had achieved an impermissible hybrid, in the course of a hearing exercising powers potentially available to the Court instead of a hearing. (2) A summary decision of best interests must be made by reference to the evidence and the matters in MCA 2005 s4, but this exercise was not fully carried out. (3) There was a breach of procedural fairness and Article ..→
- Khudobin v Russia 59696/00 (2006) ECHR 898 — Lack of medical treatment while detained violated Article 3; lack of relevant and sufficient reasons for pre-trial detention violated Article 5(3); undue delays in considering two separate applications for release violated Article 5(4); appeal court's failure to consider refusal of release breached Article 5(4); court's failure to consider entrapment defence violated Article 6(1); damages of €12,000 awarded
- Matter v Slovakia 31534/96 (1999) ECHR 38 — Proceedings relating to capacity are covered by Art 6 ECHR; in assessing whether the proceedings are completed within a reasonable time, account has to be taken of any complexity arising from the need for expert evidence and any conduct by the patient, but special diligence is required from the court in light of the importance of the question. A forced medical examination, which is an interference for the purposes of Art 8(1), could be a proportionate method of protecting a patient’s rights as part of the resolution of capacity proceedings and so justified for the purposes of Art 8(2) ECHR. [MHLR.]
- Pankiewicz v Poland 34151/04 (2008) ECHR 148 — It would be too rigid to expect immediate transfer from prison to psychiatric hospital but, although the delay of 2 months 25 days did not at first glance seem particularly excessive, on balance it was not acceptable and violated Article 5(1); the claimant had been compensated by the domestic court so was not a victim for Article 5(3) purposes; the Article 6 complaint was rejected for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies
- Panteleyenko v Ukraine 11901/02 (2006) ECHR 667 — A search of the applicant's office, and the disclosure of confidential psychiatric information, was not in accordance with domestic law and therefore violated Article 8; the domestic authorities' refusal to pay compensation on the ground that criminal proceedings had been discontinued on "non-exonerating grounds" contravened the presumption of innocence and violated Article 6(2).
- R (Holloway) v Oxfordshire County Council (2007) EWHC 776 (Admin) — The without-notice interim displacement order under s29, and the subsequent detention under s3, were lawful: (1) neither the culpable failure of the council to inform the NR, nor the failure of the judge to enquire into this, deprived the court of jurisdiction; (2) the safeguards in the Act meant that the interim relief did not cause irreversible prejudice, thus Article 6 was not engaged; (3) (obiter) s6(3) would have provided the Trust with a defence to false imprisonment.
- R (M) v MHRT (2005) EWHC 2791 (Admin) — There was no appearance of bias where the sentencing judge, who had imposed the hospital order with restrictions, heard the subsequent MHRT appeal; the patient knew the relevant facts and unequivocally decided not to object at the time, so had waived his right to object
- R (Wright) v SSH (2009) UKHL 3 — Section 82(4)(b) of the Care Standards Act 2000, which provides for the provisional inclusion in the POVA list of a care worker (thus depriving him of employment) immediately after concerns are raised but before any judicial hearing, is incompatible with Articles 6 and 8.
- Re P (fair trial); Knowsley MBC v P (2013) MHLO 5 (COP) — The press has reported this case as follows: (1) A patient was detained in a psychiatric hospital, then transferred to a psychiatric home; when the six-month section was due to expire, the council obtained a Court of Protection order to prolong detention, without consultation with the patient, her family or her advocate. (2) Peter Jackson J approved a consent order in which the council (a) admitted, in relation to the two months of further detention, violating the patient's Article 5 (liberty), Article 6 (fair trial) and Article 8 (family life) rights, and (b) agreed to pay £6,000 compensation. (3) The patient was allowed home following legal intervention and an occupational therapy assessment. (4) The patient was quoted as saying 'I was held prisoner, it's as simple as that. Even though it's been months since I was able to come home, I still can't sleep. I feel like I just can't trust anyone. I'm constantly worried that they're going to turn up and take me away again.' ..→
- Romanov v Russia 63993/00 (2005) ECHR 933 — (1) Violation of Article 3: The applicant's conditions of detention, in particular the severe overcrowding and its detrimental effect on the applicant's well being, combined with the length of the period during which the applicant was detained in such conditions, amounted to degrading treatment. (2) Violation of Article 5(3): the length of the proceedings (and detention on remand) was attributable neither to the complexity of the case nor to the conduct of the applicant but to the lack of diligence and expedition on the part of court. (3) Violation of Article 6(1) and (3)(c): In view of what was at stake for the applicant the District Court could not, if the trial was to be fair, determine his case without a direct assessment of the applicant's evidence, and the presence of the applicant's lawyer could not compensate for his absence.
- Seal v UK 50330/07 (2010) ECHR 1976 — The claimant issued his claim on the eve of the limitation period without seeking leave under s139; the House of Lords had found that his claim was therefore a nullity. (1) No breach of Article 6 was found because (a) the six-year limitation period pursued a legitimate aim, (b) s139 was to restrict access to the court only where the claim was manifestly unmeritorious, and its general aim of protecting those who exercise powers under that Act, including the police, pursued a legitimate aim, (c) the decision to strike out did not impair the very essence of the applicant's right of access to court and was not disproportionate: he had not explained his delay or failure to seek leave, and should bear the consequences of his own decisions, and in any event could continue his non-MHA claims (2) No breach of Article 6 taken with Article 14 was found because he did not argue it in any substance and, by not having argued it previously, had failed to exhaust domestic remedies.
- Shulepova v Russia 34449/03 (2008) ECHR 1666 — (1) Violation of Article 5(4): Applicant not detained in accordance with a procedure prescribed by domestic law. (2) Violation of Article 6(1): By appointing the hospital's employees as psychiatric experts, the domestic courts placed the applicant at a substantial disadvantage, in breach of the principle of equality of arms.
- Stanev v Bulgaria 36760/06 (2012) ECHR 46, (2012) MHLO 1 — (1) The applicant's placement in a social care home for people with mental disorders and his inability to obtain permission to leave the home led to breaches of Article 5(1), (4) and (5). (2) The living conditions in the home led to breaches of Article 3, and of Article 13 in conjunction with Article 3. (3) The lack of access to a court to seek release from partial guardianship breached Article 6(1). (4) No separate issue arose under Article 8 so it was unnecessary to examine that complaint. (5) Compensation of €15,000 was awarded.
- Wilkinson v UK 14659/02 (2006) ECHR 1171 — The applicant's complaints were all declared inadmissible. He had complained that: (1) medical treatment against his will was a breach of the negative obligations under Articles 3 and 8; (2) the authorities failed in their positive obligation under Articles 3 and 8 to provide suitable safeguards against the imposition of treatment that would violate his rights, in particular that the authorities should have sought approval from a court before imposing treatment and that he should have been able to bring a challenge against the treatment, before it took place, in a court which would have been able to provide a suitable level of review; (3) the inability to have a determination of his ‘civil right’ to autonomy in a court that would have provided a review on the merits was a violation of Article 6; (4) the lack of effective remedy was a breach of Article 13; (5) discrimination on the basis of his status as a detained patient was a breach of ..→
- X v Finland 34806/04 (2012) ECHR 1371, (2012) MHLO 128 — "The applicant alleged, in particular, under Article 6 of the Convention that she did not receive a fair hearing in the criminal proceedings against her in that she was not given an opportunity to be heard at an oral hearing on the need to appoint a trustee for her for the purpose of those proceedings and that she was not given an opportunity to examine witnesses on her behalf. She also alleged under Articles 5 and 8 of the Convention that she was unnecessarily and unlawfully subjected to involuntary care in a mental institution and to forced administration of medication. She further claimed under Article 13 of the Convention that she did not have an effective remedy to challenge the forced administration of medication." [Detailed summary available via external link.]
Article 6 – Right to a fair trial
1. In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgment shall be pronounced publicly but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interests of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.
2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:
- a. to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;
- b. to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;
- c. to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;
- d. to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
- e. to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.