RC v NHS Islington [2013] UKUT 167 (AAC), [2013] MHLO 34

"This is an appeal by a patient, brought with my leave, against a decision of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales refusing an application for the postponement of the hearing of the patient’s appeal. ... The grounds of appeal argue that the ... policy on which the decision was based, of not postponing hearings other than to a fixed date, was unlawful and in any case there was nothing to prevent the tribunal from fixing a new date for the hearing even if the postponement was granted. ... The result of what I have held to be a flawed approach by the tribunal in relation to the patient’s application for a postponement in this case may have had serious consequences. Rather than proceed with a hopeless appeal, the patient was forced to withdraw his application to the tribunal. Although his subsequent appeal was successful, the tribunal’s refusal of the initial postponement application may have resulted in the patient’s detention for longer than would otherwise have been the case. However, since any practical benefit of this appeal has now been overtaken by events, I ... simply declare the tribunal’s refusal of a postponement to have been in error of law." [Summary required.]

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