December 2018 chronology
See December 2018 update for a thematic summary of these changes.
- 20/12/18 (1): After-care case. R (CXF) v Central Bedfordshire Council  EWCA Civ 2852 — The patient's mother drove weekly to accompany her son on escorted community leave bus trips. When he turned 18, the Children Act 1989 funding ceased and she sought judicial review of the refusal to fund her travel costs under MHA 1983 s117. (1) The patient did not "cease to be detained" or "leave hospital" within the meaning of s117(1) when on leave and so was not a person to whom s117 applied, and also the services provided did not constitute "after-care services" within the meaning of s117(6). (2) In other cases, such as a patient living in the community on a either a full-time or part-time trial basis, the s117 duty could arise. (3) (Obiter) It was difficult to see how s117 could have covered the mother's costs as there was no evidence that she was authorised to provide services on behalf of any CCG or LA. (4) The MHA Code of Practice is analogous to delegated legislation (which can only be used as an aid to interpretation if it formed part of Parliament's background knowledge when legislating) and so cannot be used to construe s117(1) which is part of the original text. (5) The court was critical of and provided guidance in relation to the quality of pleadings in statutory interpretation cases. (6) Even if the evidence provided by Mind's QC in written submissions had been relevant, it would not excuse the flagrant breach of the court's order not to stray into the giving of evidence. The matters which are admissible are so limited in statutory interpretation cases that it may be that there is nothing useful an intervenor can contribute.
- 19/12/18 (1): Deprivation of liberty case (post MM). Re AB (Inherent Jurisdiction: Deprivation of Liberty)  EWHC 3103 (Fam) — AB had capacity to consent to the care, support and accommodation arrangements which were provided as part of his conditional discharge but, following the MM case, there was an unlawful deprivation of liberty. The High Court extended the inherent jurisdiction to regularise the position of a capacitous detained mental health patient subject to restrictions as part of his conditional discharge which satisfied the objective elements of a deprivation of liberty (firstly, it was clear that there was no legislative provision governing this situation in that the Mental Health Act provided no remedy; secondly, it was in the interests of justice; and, thirdly, there were sound and strong public policy justifications). The court order: authorised the deprivation of liberty for 12 months; required the applicant to apply to court if the restrictions increase, and no less than one month before the expiry of the authorisation; and provided for a review on the papers unless a party requests or the court requires an oral hearing.
- 17/12/18 (1): Deprivation of liberty case (PJ). Welsh Ministers v PJ  UKSC 66 — (1) There is no power to impose conditions in a CTO which have the effect of depriving a patient of his liberty. (2) The patient's situation may be relevant to the tribunal's discharge criteria, and the tribunal may explain the true legal effect of a CTO (for the RC to act on that information), but if a patient is being unlawfully detained then the remedy is either habeas corpus or judicial review.
- 16/12/18 (1): Event (date change). Court of Protection User Group Meeting - London, 30/4/19 — See Court of Protection User Group for information about the group. Contact Tolu Somade, Business Support Officer to HHJ Hilder (tolulope.somade@Justice.gov.uk) to confirm attendance at the meeting. Time: 2pm. Note change of date (previously was 23/4/19). See Minutes of Court User Group Meeting (30/4/19).
- 14/12/18 (1): Settlement approval case. EXB v FDZ  EWHC 3456 (QB) — "This case came before me on 23 April 2018 for the purpose of considering whether to approve the proposed settlement of a personal injuries action reached between the Claimant's Litigation Friend (his mother) and the Third and Fourth Defendants. The settlement required the approval of the court pursuant to CPR Part 21.10 because the Claimant was (and remains) a protected party. I gave my approval to the settlement. [I]t was thought by those who knew him best ... that it would be in the Claimant's best interests not to be told the amount at which the settlement had been achieved. ... The primary question, however, is whether I can conclude, on the balance of probabilities, that the Claimant cannot make for himself the decision about whether he should be told the value of the award. As Ms Butler-Cole says, this is difficult in the present case because 'by definition, the Claimant cannot be presented with the information relevant to the decision in order to assess his capacity, as that would make the entire exercise redundant.' Nonetheless, the Claimant has expressed his views on the matter without the exact figure being known to him and there is evidence (particularly in his comment after he left the videoconference room after giving his evidence) that his ability to make this decision is variable and that he could not necessarily sustain over any meaningful period the making of such a decision given his inability to control his impulses and weigh up all the relevant considerations. In those circumstances a declaration as to incapacity in relation to this specific decision is justified. ... This case is the first I can recall when an issue such as that which has arisen has occurred. ... I will send a copy of this judgment to the Deputy Head of Civil Justice and to the Vice-President of the Court of Protection so that they can consider whether any consultation on this issue is required and whether any action needs to be taken as a result." The draft order included the following declarations: "(1) The Claimant lacks the capacity to decide whether or not he should know the amount of the Settlement. (2) It is in the Claimant's best interests that he does not know the amount of the Settlement. (3) It shall be unlawful for any person (whether the Claimant's deputy or any other person who has knowledge of the amount of the Settlement) to convey by any means to the Claimant information about the amount of the Settlement, save that this declaration does not make unlawful the conveyance of descriptive information to the Claimant to the effect that the Settlement is sufficient to meet his reasonable needs for life."
- 13/12/18 (1): PJ judgment date. The Supreme Court judgment will be handed down on 17/12/18. See SSJ v MM; Welsh Ministers v PJ  EWCA Civ 194,  MHLO 16
- 10/12/18 (1): EPA/s44 neglect case. R v Kurtz  EWCA Crim 2743 — "The Registrar of Criminal Appeals has referred this application for permission to appeal against conviction and sentence to the Full Court. The application concerns the scope of the offence created by s 44(2) read, in this case, with s 44(1)(b) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 ('MCA 2005) of which the Appellant was convicted. This provision has not previously been considered by the Court of Appeal. ... The essential question at the heart of this appeal is whether, on a prosecution for the offence contrary to s 44(2) read with s 44(1)(b), the prosecution must prove that the person said to have been wilfully neglected or ill-treated lacked capacity, or that the defendant reasonably believed that s/he lacked capacity. We shall refer to this as 'the lack of capacity requirement'. ... The submission by Ms Wade QC on behalf of the Appellant was that the existence of the EPA was not sufficient of itself to render the Appellant guilty of the offence contrary to s 44(1)(b) of the MCA 2005 even if she had wilfully neglected her mother. ... Despite our comments in  above as to the evidence which suggests that, at a minimum, the Appellant should reasonably have believed her mother to lack mental capacity in matters of personal welfare, the judge's failure to direct the jury in this regard is fatal to the safety of the conviction and the appeal must be allowed."
- 07/12/18 (1): Updated MH panel guidance. Law Society, 'Mental Health Accreditation: Application and re-accreditation application forms guidance notes and policies' (dated 5/12/18) — This document contains updated guidance on the professional development requirements for panel membership. Dated: December 2018. Metadata: created 5/12/18. Downloaded 7/12/18. Filename: mental-health-accreditation-guidance-december-2018.pdf
- 06/12/18 (1): Wessely review final report. Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983, 'Modernising the Mental Health Act: Increasing choice, reducing compulsion' (final report, 6/12/18) — The report states that "[a] purpose and a set of principles should be included in the Act itself" and makes recommendations under the following headings: (1) Principle 1 - Choice and autonomy: (a) Making decisions about care and treatment; (b) Family and carer involvement; (c) Advocacy; (d) Complaints; (e) Deaths in detention. (2) Principle 2 - Least Restriction: (a) Tackling the rising rates of detention; (b) Criteria for detention; (c) A statutory Care and Treatment Plan; (d) Length of detention; (e) Challenging detention; (f) Deprivation of liberty: MCA or MHA?; (g) Community Treatment Orders; (h) Coercion and restrictive practices within inpatient settings. (3) Principle 3 - Therapeutic Benefit: (a) Care planning/aftercare; (b) Hospital visitors; (c) Inpatient social environments; (d) Inpatient physical environments. (4) Principle 4 - The Person as an Individual: (a) Person centred care; (b) Recognition of patient individuality at the tribunal; (c) The experiences of people from ethnic minority communities; (d) Children and young people; (e) People with learning disabilities, autism or both; (f) Policing; (g) Patients in the criminal justice system; (h) Immigration Detention; (i) Victims. (5) System wide enablers: (a) Data; (b) Digital enablers; (c) Quality Improvement (QI); (d) Staffing; (e) Improving staff morale.
- 05/12/18 (3): New edition of book. Richard Jones and Eve Piffaretti, Mental Capacity Act Manual (8th edn, Sweet and Maxwell 2018)
- 05/12/18 (2): Event. Edge Training: BIA Legal Update (Annual Refresher) - London, 14/12/18 — This course aims to provide an essential update on case law in relation to the role of the BIA. Learning outcomes: (1) Consider the latest DoLS news, research and guidance; (2) Examine the latest case law relevant to DoLS and the BIA role; (3) Reflect on how the information covered affects BIA practice. Speaker: Aasya Mughal. Price: £140+VAT. See Edge Training website for further details and booking information
- 05/12/18 (1): Appeal status information (CXF s117 case). This case was heard by the Court of Appeal (Bean, Leggatt, Haddon-Cave LJJ) on 5/12/18. See R (CXF) v Central Bedfordshire Council  EWHC 2311 (Admin)