23/08/15 (2): Terrorism case.Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis v Ahsan (2015) EWHC 2354 (Admin), (2015) MHLO 62 — The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis applied for an order to impose notification requirements for a period of 15 years on Syed Talha Ahsan under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008. The notification order would require him for that period to attend police stations to provide, and update, information about his living arrangements and to provide details about his travel plans, for which permission can be refused; breach of the requirements is punishable with imprisonment of up to 5 years. (1) Ahsan had been convicted in the United States of providing material assistance for the Taliban, while they were harbouring Osama bin Laden, through his involvement in a US-hosted website, but he argued that this did not constitute an act which "would have constituted an offence… if it had been done in any part of the United Kingdom…" because it was in fact done within the United Kingdom. The judge decided that (a) Parliament must have intended that the notification requirements should apply to terrorist conduct committed here which results in a conviction in a foreign court, even if it could have been prosecuted here but was not; (b) by inadvertence Parliament had failed to give effect to that purpose; (c) taking a purposive approach, even assuming that all elements of Mr Ahsan's offending occurred here, the offences he was convicted of in the US were corresponding foreign offences. (2) Ashan argued that the Commissioner had failed to take into account relevant considerations and therefore the exercise of discretion to make the application was unlawful. The judge decided that: (a) since there is a discretion, its exercise should be open to public law challenge; (b) only in exceptional circumstances would this be successful, because of the strong legislative steer that, where there has been a corresponding foreign conviction and the requisite sentence has been imposed, an application should be made; (c) the public law challenge should, to avoid wasting time and money, be heard within the 2008 Act proceedings rather than by separate judicial review proceedings; (d) failure to consider the sentencing remarks, his mental health, and the fact that Ahsan had not been prosecuted here, did not render the decision unlawful. (3) The notification requirements did not meet the minimum level of severity required for a successful Article 3 claim. (4) The interference with Ahsan's private and family life was not necessary and proportionate under Article 8: (a) this was an exceptional case where there was no significant future risk; (b) the medical evidence was that that the notification requirements were likely to have a severe adverse impact on Ahsan's mental health, and despite this likelihood the requirements would continue for 15 years with no review mechanism. (5) The application was therefore dismissed.
23/08/15 (1): Cornwall Council, 'Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards - Time Study' (closes 4/9/15). Cornwall Council have decided to extend the deadline for completion of their survey until 4pm on Friday 4/9/15. During the original period there were almost 400 responses, the breakdown being: (a) 72% BIAs, 28% AMHP/BIAs; (b) 87% social workers, 3% OTs, 9% nurses, 1% psychologists. It is hoped that at least 500 people will respond overall. See Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards#Other links
20/08/15 (2): Edge Training: BIA Report Writing - London, 25/9/15. Edge Training are running a course entitled "Best Interests Assessors – Report Writing" on Friday 25/9/15 in London. This course aims to provide BIAs with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure professional and robust assessments under DOLS. Speaker: Javeda Jafri. Price: £115 + VAT. See flyer for further details and booking information. See Events
20/08/15 (1): Edge Training: MH Assessors - London, 11/9/15. Edge Training are running a course entitled "Mental Health Assessors - Qualification and Refresher Course" on Friday 11/9/15 in London. The course is designed to ensure MH Assessors are suitably qualified to cover the assessments they will have to undertake as part of their role and give them the confidence to complete the DOLS paperwork. Speaker: Aasya Mughal. Price: £180 + VAT (£216). See ..→