Mental health case law

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Case law - by subject matter(17 categories)
Anonymisation cases(4 pages)
Capacity and DOL(20 categories)
Classification(2 categories)
Community care and after-care(3 categories)
Criminal law cases(10 categories)
Disability discrimination(19 pages)
Inquests(31 pages)
Mental Health Tribunals(15 categories)
Ministry of Justice(29 pages)
Miscellaneous(210 pages)
Nearest relative cases(3 categories, 2 pages)
Odds and sods(2 categories)
Repatriation cases(79 pages)
SRA decisions(12 pages)
Welfare benefits cases(11 pages)


Case law - by jurisdiction(4 categories, 1 pages)
The mental health cases on this site are structured into categories and (where appropriate) sub-categories:
  • To browse through categories and cases, click on the ▼ and ► symbols as appropriate.
  • To view summaries of all cases within a category, click on the category name.
  • To view a particular case, click on the case name (which will be listed under the relevant category).

Mental Health Law Online currently contains 2007 categorised cases. These are in the process of being moved to a new database structure... 174 done and 1833 to do...

If you have been involved in a case not listed here, or have a transcript that is not yet on Bailii, then please get in touch. See Help page for contact details.

Recently-added cases

The following are the most recently-added 2019 cases:

Case and summary Date added Categories
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust v X [2019] EWCOP 35 — (1) Official Solicitor's lack of out-of-hours service: "... I invite the Official Solicitor to urgently review this position and consider putting in place arrangements that will ensure appropriate representation out of normal court hours for those individuals who are the subject of urgent applications that potentially involve serious medical treatment. ... [E]very effort must be made to issue such applications during normal court hours." (2) Pregnancy: "Having considered the submissions of the parties there is, in my judgment, in accordance with s 48 Mental Capacity Act 2005, reason to believe that X lacks capacity in relation to the matter, namely the medical intervention that may be necessary for X to give birth to a baby who is safe and well. On the evidence the court has from Dr Y, which I accept, his assessment is X is unable to reconcile her conflicting beliefs (on the one hand of wanting a natural birth and also wanting a live, well and safely born baby) in a way that she is able to balance the pros and cons. Additionally, there is, in my judgment, a real risk the position is unlikely to change and is more likely to deteriorate. He concluded X showed limited insight in relation to her previous mental ill- health. I have carefully considered the submissions on behalf of the Official Solicitor regarding capacity but looking at all the evidence and information available to the court I am satisfied the interim declaration should be made." 2019‑08‑19 23:28:47 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Litigation friend cases, Medical treatment cases


JS v SLAM NHS Foundation Trust [2019] UKUT 172 (AAC) — (1) Reinstatement: "As there is no right to reinstatement, the tribunal has a discretion whether or not to reinstate the party’s ‘case’. It must, like all discretions, be exercised judicially and that involves complying with the overriding objective of the tribunal’s rules of procedure, which is ‘to enable the Tribunal to deal with cases fairly and justly’ (rule 2(1)). ... Considered methodically, the factors that the tribunal should take into account neatly divide into three. First, the tribunal should consider whether there is anything to undermine either the patient’s application to withdraw or the tribunal’s consent. Just to give some examples, the application may have been based on a misunderstanding of the facts or the law. Or there may be an issue whether the patient had capacity or gave informed consent. Or the tribunal’s reasons for consenting may have been defective. Second, there may have been a change of circumstances that makes it appropriate to agree to reinstatement. Third, the tribunal will have to consider any other factors that may be relevant under the overriding objective. These will include: (a) the reasons given in support of the application, whatever they may be; (b) any prejudice to the patient in refusing consent; (c) any detriment to the other parties if consent is given; (d) any prejudice to other patients if consent is given; and (d) any impact that reinstatement might have on the operation of the tribunal’s mental health jurisdiction system as a whole." (2) Respondent status: "[T]he Trust was properly named as a respondent on the appeal to the Upper Tribunal ... The Trust was the responsible authority and, as such, a party to the proceedings in the First-tier Tribunal ... On appeal by the patient to the Upper Tribunal, everyone else who was a party before the First-tier Tribunal became a respondent ... That is standard procedure in appeal generally. The Trust’s letter shows a confusion between an appeal and a judicial review. In the latter, the tribunal is the respondent, and others may be interested parties." 2019‑07‑17 10:54:45 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment missing from Bailii, Powers, Upper Tribunal decisions


R (ASK) v SSHD [2019] EWCA Civ 1239 — "These appeals raise important issues concerning the powers of the Respondent Secretary of State to detain those who suffer from mental health conditions pending removal from the United Kingdom. In each case, the Appellant is a foreign national who satisfied the statutory criteria for detention pending removal, but who suffered from mental illness such that it is said that, for at least some of the period he was detained, he was not only unfit to be removed and/or detained in an immigration removal centre ("IRC"), but did not have mental capacity to challenge his detention and/or engage with the procedures to which he was subject as a detainee. As a result, it is submitted that, in detaining each Appellant, the Secretary of State acted unlawfully in one or more of the following ways. ..." 2019‑07‑17 10:17:55 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Repatriation cases


Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v TG [2019] EWCOP 21 — "I am being asked to take today an irreversible decision that will lead inevitably to death sooner rather than later and probably within minutes or seconds of the tube being removed. I am being asked to do so in the face of what I find are the wishes and feelings of TG. ... I have come to the clear decision that it is in the patient's best interests that intubation should continue. I recognise that this places a huge burden on the treating team. It is against their advice and their wishes and of course also those of Dr Newman but I remind myself constantly, this is her life and her wishes as I have found them to be and nobody else's. It may be that if the position were to remain the same in six months' time or no successful tracheostomy had been carried out that different considerations might apply but I am not looking at the future, I am looking at things as they are now and for those reasons I reach my decision and refuse the application." 2019‑07‑08 22:29:31 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment missing from Bailii, Medical treatment cases


LJ v Mercouris [2019] EWHC 1746 (QB) — "The essential questions are: (1) Does Mr [J] lack capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. (2) Is the court satisfied that Mrs [J] satisfies the conditions in Rule 21.4 (3). This requirement is incorporated by Rule 21.6 (5). The main function of a litigation friend appears to be to carry on the litigation on behalf of the Claimant and in his best interests. However, part of the reasoning for imposing a requirement for a litigation friend appears also to be for the benefit of the other parties. This is not just so that there is a person answerable to the opposing party for costs." 2019‑07‑06 22:29:26 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Litigation capacity cases, Other capacity cases


R v Fisher [2019] EWCA Crim 1066Having summarised the Sentencing Council's Definitive Guideline for Manslaughter (in force 1/11/18) and the relevant available disposals under the MHA, the Court of Appeal revoked sentences of imprisonment and replaced the life sentence with a s37/41 restricted hospital order. 2019‑07‑04 22:52:10 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment missing from Bailii, Life sentence cases


LV v UK 50718/16 [2019] MHLO 32 (ECHR)LV, a s47/49 patient, had argued that there had been a delay, in breach of Article 5(4), in securing her release, in particular because of the two-stage process involving both the Mental Health Tribunal and Parole Board. She accepted the government's offer of £2,500 in settlement of her claim. 2019‑06‑17 13:00:24 2019 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty


London Borough of Tower Hamlets v NB [2019] EWCOP 17 — "There is also evidence that indicates that NB very much enjoys the status of marriage, is affectionate to her husband [AU] and, on occasion, initiates sexual relations. This appears consistent with Ms Wilson's observations as long ago as 1996. The primary issue before the Court is whether NB truly has the capacity to consent to sexual relations. ... Unfortunately, the case attracted a great deal of media coverage, this notwithstanding that no argument had been heard and no Judgment delivered. A great deal of the comment was sententious and, in some instances, irresponsible. It is considered, by the Official Solicitor and the applicant Local Authority, that the impact of that publicity frightened AU very considerably, leading him to believe that he was likely to be sent to prison. He has left the party's flat and disengaged with these proceedings. ... [Mr Bagchi for the OS] submits it is a 'general' or 'issue-specific' test rather than a partner-specific one. If Mr Bagchi is correct, the difficulty that presents in this case is that there is only one individual with whom it is really contemplated that NB is likely to have a sexual relationship i.e. her husband of 27 years. It seems entirely artificial therefore to be assessing her capacity in general terms when the reality is entirely specific. ... As I said on the last occasion, these issues are integral to the couple's basic human rights. There is a crucial social, ethical and moral principle in focus. It is important that the relevant test is not framed in such a restrictive way that it serves to discriminate against those with disabilities, in particular those with low intelligence or border line capacity. ... Mr Bagchi has accepted that if a person-specific test were applied here then the outcome, in terms of assessment of NB's capacity may be different. ... I do not necessarily consider that the applicable test in the Court of Protection necessarily excludes the 'person specific approach'. I am reserving my Judgment ..." 2019‑05‑15 22:02:33 2019 cases, Capacity to consent to sexual relations, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii


R (Maguire) v HM's Senior Coroner for Blackpool and Fylde [2019] EWHC 1232 (Admin) — "First, the claimant contends that the defendant erred in law by determining at the end of the evidence that article 2 no longer applied under Parkinson, thereby prejudging a matter that should have been left to the jury. Secondly, the Coroner erred in law by determining that the jury should not be directed to consider whether neglect should form part of their conclusion. ... That the case law has extended the positive duty beyond the criminal justice context in Osman is not in doubt. The reach of the duty, beyond what Lord Dyson called the "paradigm example" of detention, is less easy to define. We have reached the conclusion, however, that the touchstone for state responsibility has remained constant: it is whether the circumstances of the case are such as to call a state to account: Rabone, para 19, citing Powell. In the absence of either systemic dysfunction arising from a regulatory failure or a relevant assumption of responsibility in a particular case, the state will not be held accountable under article 2. ... We agree that a person who lacks capacity to make certain decisions about his or her best interests - and who is therefore subject to DOLS under the 2005 Act - does not automatically fall to be treated in the same way as Lord Dyson's paradigm example. In our judgment, each case will turn on its facts. ... [The Coroner] properly directed himself as to the appropriate test to apply to the issue of neglect and having done so declined to leave the issue to the jury." 2019‑05‑15 21:35:39 2019 cases, Cases, Inquests, Judgment available on Bailii


University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHSFT v J [2019] EWCOP 16 — "[Anne] is the subject of an application brought by the [Trust] for declarations that it is in Anne's best interests to undergo a hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and a colonoscopy, and that, in order to enable those to be undertaken, it is in her best interests for a transfer plan to be implemented which will involve her sedation and a level of deception to ensure her presence at hospital for the procedures to be undertaken. The application arises because it is said that Anne lacks capacity. ... It is entirely right that cases such as this, where medical decisions and the plan for their implementation impact so profoundly on P's personal autonomy, bodily integrity and reproductive rights, should be considered by the Court of Protection at High Court level, and as this case demonstrates, once in the hands of the court and the Official Solicitor they can be dealt with rapidly. I therefore have no hesitation in declaring that it is in Anne's best interests to undergo HBSO and colonoscopy (and associated surgical procedures) and for the care plan to be implemented in its final amended form." 2019‑05‑10 21:41:37 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Medical treatment cases

More...


The following are the 10 most recently-added cases to the new database structure (from any year):

Case and summary Date added Categories
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust v X [2019] EWCOP 35 — (1) Official Solicitor's lack of out-of-hours service: "... I invite the Official Solicitor to urgently review this position and consider putting in place arrangements that will ensure appropriate representation out of normal court hours for those individuals who are the subject of urgent applications that potentially involve serious medical treatment. ... [E]very effort must be made to issue such applications during normal court hours." (2) Pregnancy: "Having considered the submissions of the parties there is, in my judgment, in accordance with s 48 Mental Capacity Act 2005, reason to believe that X lacks capacity in relation to the matter, namely the medical intervention that may be necessary for X to give birth to a baby who is safe and well. On the evidence the court has from Dr Y, which I accept, his assessment is X is unable to reconcile her conflicting beliefs (on the one hand of wanting a natural birth and also wanting a live, well and safely born baby) in a way that she is able to balance the pros and cons. Additionally, there is, in my judgment, a real risk the position is unlikely to change and is more likely to deteriorate. He concluded X showed limited insight in relation to her previous mental ill- health. I have carefully considered the submissions on behalf of the Official Solicitor regarding capacity but looking at all the evidence and information available to the court I am satisfied the interim declaration should be made." 2019‑08‑19 23:28:47 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Litigation friend cases, Medical treatment cases


Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHSFT v SE [2018] EWCOP 45 — "Whilst, of course, it is understood emergencies do arise, in this case the emergency was due to the failure to have any effective system in place for securing legal advice for clinicians in the Trusts. I hope that the procedures now put in place (as set out at the end of this judgment) will be replicated elsewhere to avoid this situation happening again. ... [H]er best interests will be met by this court endorsing the Order that has been agreed and giving the applicants permission to be able to carry out the procedures set out in paragraph 4, namely the amputation of her right leg ... 2019‑08‑10 22:27:25 2018 cases, Cases, Judgment missing from Bailii, Medical treatment cases


AM (Afghanistan) v SSHD [2017] EWCA Civ 1123In this judgment the Court of Appeal gave guidance on the general approach to be adopted in FTT and UT immigration and asylum cases to the fair determination of claims for asylum from children, young people and other incapacitated or vulnerable persons whose ability to effectively participate in proceedings may be limited. In relation to litigation friends, despite there being no provision in the tribunal rules for litigation friends, the court decided that: "[T]here is ample flexibility in the tribunal rules to permit a tribunal to appoint a litigation friend in the rare circumstance that the child or incapacitated adult would not be able to represent him/herself and obtain effective access to justice without such a step being taken. In the alternative, even if the tribunal rules are not broad enough to confer that power, the overriding objective in the context of natural justice requires the same conclusion to be reached." 2019‑07‑26 20:29:51 2017 cases, Cases, ICLR summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Repatriation cases


JS v SLAM NHS Foundation Trust [2019] UKUT 172 (AAC) — (1) Reinstatement: "As there is no right to reinstatement, the tribunal has a discretion whether or not to reinstate the party’s ‘case’. It must, like all discretions, be exercised judicially and that involves complying with the overriding objective of the tribunal’s rules of procedure, which is ‘to enable the Tribunal to deal with cases fairly and justly’ (rule 2(1)). ... Considered methodically, the factors that the tribunal should take into account neatly divide into three. First, the tribunal should consider whether there is anything to undermine either the patient’s application to withdraw or the tribunal’s consent. Just to give some examples, the application may have been based on a misunderstanding of the facts or the law. Or there may be an issue whether the patient had capacity or gave informed consent. Or the tribunal’s reasons for consenting may have been defective. Second, there may have been a change of circumstances that makes it appropriate to agree to reinstatement. Third, the tribunal will have to consider any other factors that may be relevant under the overriding objective. These will include: (a) the reasons given in support of the application, whatever they may be; (b) any prejudice to the patient in refusing consent; (c) any detriment to the other parties if consent is given; (d) any prejudice to other patients if consent is given; and (d) any impact that reinstatement might have on the operation of the tribunal’s mental health jurisdiction system as a whole." (2) Respondent status: "[T]he Trust was properly named as a respondent on the appeal to the Upper Tribunal ... The Trust was the responsible authority and, as such, a party to the proceedings in the First-tier Tribunal ... On appeal by the patient to the Upper Tribunal, everyone else who was a party before the First-tier Tribunal became a respondent ... That is standard procedure in appeal generally. The Trust’s letter shows a confusion between an appeal and a judicial review. In the latter, the tribunal is the respondent, and others may be interested parties." 2019‑07‑17 10:54:45 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment missing from Bailii, Powers, Upper Tribunal decisions


R (ASK) v SSHD [2019] EWCA Civ 1239 — "These appeals raise important issues concerning the powers of the Respondent Secretary of State to detain those who suffer from mental health conditions pending removal from the United Kingdom. In each case, the Appellant is a foreign national who satisfied the statutory criteria for detention pending removal, but who suffered from mental illness such that it is said that, for at least some of the period he was detained, he was not only unfit to be removed and/or detained in an immigration removal centre ("IRC"), but did not have mental capacity to challenge his detention and/or engage with the procedures to which he was subject as a detainee. As a result, it is submitted that, in detaining each Appellant, the Secretary of State acted unlawfully in one or more of the following ways. ..." 2019‑07‑17 10:17:55 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Repatriation cases


Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v TG [2019] EWCOP 21 — "I am being asked to take today an irreversible decision that will lead inevitably to death sooner rather than later and probably within minutes or seconds of the tube being removed. I am being asked to do so in the face of what I find are the wishes and feelings of TG. ... I have come to the clear decision that it is in the patient's best interests that intubation should continue. I recognise that this places a huge burden on the treating team. It is against their advice and their wishes and of course also those of Dr Newman but I remind myself constantly, this is her life and her wishes as I have found them to be and nobody else's. It may be that if the position were to remain the same in six months' time or no successful tracheostomy had been carried out that different considerations might apply but I am not looking at the future, I am looking at things as they are now and for those reasons I reach my decision and refuse the application." 2019‑07‑08 22:29:31 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment missing from Bailii, Medical treatment cases


LJ v Mercouris [2019] EWHC 1746 (QB) — "The essential questions are: (1) Does Mr [J] lack capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. (2) Is the court satisfied that Mrs [J] satisfies the conditions in Rule 21.4 (3). This requirement is incorporated by Rule 21.6 (5). The main function of a litigation friend appears to be to carry on the litigation on behalf of the Claimant and in his best interests. However, part of the reasoning for imposing a requirement for a litigation friend appears also to be for the benefit of the other parties. This is not just so that there is a person answerable to the opposing party for costs." 2019‑07‑06 22:29:26 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Litigation capacity cases, Other capacity cases


R v Fisher [2019] EWCA Crim 1066Having summarised the Sentencing Council's Definitive Guideline for Manslaughter (in force 1/11/18) and the relevant available disposals under the MHA, the Court of Appeal revoked sentences of imprisonment and replaced the life sentence with a s37/41 restricted hospital order. 2019‑07‑04 22:52:10 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment missing from Bailii, Life sentence cases


LV v UK 50718/16 [2019] MHLO 32 (ECHR)LV, a s47/49 patient, had argued that there had been a delay, in breach of Article 5(4), in securing her release, in particular because of the two-stage process involving both the Mental Health Tribunal and Parole Board. She accepted the government's offer of £2,500 in settlement of her claim. 2019‑06‑17 13:00:24 2019 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty


London Borough of Tower Hamlets v NB [2019] EWCOP 17 — "There is also evidence that indicates that NB very much enjoys the status of marriage, is affectionate to her husband [AU] and, on occasion, initiates sexual relations. This appears consistent with Ms Wilson's observations as long ago as 1996. The primary issue before the Court is whether NB truly has the capacity to consent to sexual relations. ... Unfortunately, the case attracted a great deal of media coverage, this notwithstanding that no argument had been heard and no Judgment delivered. A great deal of the comment was sententious and, in some instances, irresponsible. It is considered, by the Official Solicitor and the applicant Local Authority, that the impact of that publicity frightened AU very considerably, leading him to believe that he was likely to be sent to prison. He has left the party's flat and disengaged with these proceedings. ... [Mr Bagchi for the OS] submits it is a 'general' or 'issue-specific' test rather than a partner-specific one. If Mr Bagchi is correct, the difficulty that presents in this case is that there is only one individual with whom it is really contemplated that NB is likely to have a sexual relationship i.e. her husband of 27 years. It seems entirely artificial therefore to be assessing her capacity in general terms when the reality is entirely specific. ... As I said on the last occasion, these issues are integral to the couple's basic human rights. There is a crucial social, ethical and moral principle in focus. It is important that the relevant test is not framed in such a restrictive way that it serves to discriminate against those with disabilities, in particular those with low intelligence or border line capacity. ... Mr Bagchi has accepted that if a person-specific test were applied here then the outcome, in terms of assessment of NB's capacity may be different. ... I do not necessarily consider that the applicable test in the Court of Protection necessarily excludes the 'person specific approach'. I am reserving my Judgment ..." 2019‑05‑15 22:02:33 2019 cases, Capacity to consent to sexual relations, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii

More...


Other recently-added cases:

Page and summaryDate added to siteCategories
Djaba v West London Mental Health NHS Trust [2018] MHLO 76 (SC)2019-05-152018 cases, Cases, Judgment available on MHLO, Powers, Transcript, Upper Tribunal decisions
R (LV) v SSJ [2012] EWHC 3899 (Admin)2019-03-232012 cases, Cases, Judgment available on MHLO, Judgment missing from Bailii, Prison law cases, Transcript
A Local Authority v BF [2018] EWCA Civ 29622019-01-222018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, Inherent jurisdiction cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript
LW v Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust [2018] UKUT 408 (AAC)2019-01-112018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript, Upper Tribunal decisions
Lord Chancellor v Blavo and Co Solictors Ltd [2018] EWHC 3556 (QB)2019-01-012018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Miscellaneous, Transcript
John Blavo v Law Society [2018] EWCA Civ 22502019-01-012018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, ICLR summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Miscellaneous, Transcript
R (CXF) v Central Bedfordshire Council [2018] EWCA Civ 28522018-12-202018 cases, After-care, Brief summary, Cases, ICLR summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript
Re AB (Inherent Jurisdiction: Deprivation of Liberty) [2018] EWHC 3103 (Fam)2018-12-192018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, Deprivation of liberty, ICLR summary, Inherent jurisdiction cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript
Welsh Ministers v PJ [2018] UKSC 662018-12-172018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, Deprivation of liberty, Judgment available on Bailii, Powers, Transcript
EXB v FDZ [2018] EWHC 3456 (QB)2018-12-142018 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, No summary, Other capacity cases, Transcript

External links

The following are the main sources of case transcripts/information:

See also: