Law Society, 'Mental Health Act 1983 Independent Review: Call for Evidence: Law Society response' (22/1/18)
The Law Society's response notes that the MHA/MCA interface, and UNCRPD compatibility, need to be considered, and contains proposals under the following sub-headings: (a) Giving informal admission statutory force; (b) Period of detention under Section 3; (c) Treatment without consent under the MHA 1983; (d) Automatic referrals to the tribunal; (e) Statutory requirement to discharge where detention criteria are not met; (f) Managers Hearings for patients who lack capacity; (g) The need for an express requirement of tribunals to have regard to ECHR Rights; (h) Transfer of Prisoners to Hospital; (i) Inadequacy of tribunal powers in respect of transferred patients; (j) Community Treatment Orders; (k) Lack of access to aftercare for patients detained under section 2 and informal patients; (l) Learning Disabilities & Autism; (m) Under 18s; (n) Nearest Relative Rule; (o) Our views on mental health service provision.
The Law Society's page containing the link to the PDF states:
The response contains high-level observations of what the Society considers to be the most serious problems with the Act, now over 30 years old.
- Inadequate rights for patients to challenge their detention in the Mental Health Tribunal
- Unjustifiable imposition of medical treatment on patients without their consent in the first three months of detention
- A complete lack of safeguards for children in mental health detention
- Inordinate delay in the treatment of prisoners with mental health problems
- Confusion and conflict with the operation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.