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Restriction orders can no longer be time-limited

Previously restriction orders made by the Crown Court under s41 could be "either without limit of time or during such period as may be specified in the order". If the patient were in hospital at that date the restriction order would cease and he would be detained as if made subject to a hospital order on that date; if he had been conditionally discharged then on the date he would become absolutely discharged.

From 1/1/07 s40 MHA 2007 removes the ability to make time-limited restriction orders, which was rarely used anyway. No change is made to existing orders.

S40 will amend s41(1) (making restriction orders) and s42(4)(b) (relating to recall), removing references to time-limited restriction orders. It will also amend s44(3) (committal to hospital), s84(2), s81(7), s81A(3) and s91(2) (which all relate to the removal and return of patients within UK) by removing all references to time-limited restriction orders, but these amendments will have no effect in respect of:

"(a) a restriction order for a specified period made before subsection (1) comes into force, or
(b) an order made outside England and Wales which is treated under the 1983 Act as if it were a restriction order for a specified period."

Extract from Explanatory Notes

Section 40: Restriction orders

168. Section 40 amends section 41 of the 1983 Act to remove the power of the Crown Court to make restriction orders under section 41 for a limited period. As a result, restriction orders imposed by the Court will remain in force until they are discharged by the Secretary of State for Justice or the MHRT. The section also makes consequential changes to other provisions of the 1983 Act.

Commencement

Date in forceCommencement orderMHA 2007 sectionMHA 1983 sections affected
1/1/07 Mental Health Act 2007 (Commencement No. 3) Order 2007 40 s41, s42, s44, s81, s81A, s84, s91
3/11/08 Mental Health Act 2007 (Commencement No.7 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2008 s55, sch 11 s41, s42, s44, s81, s81A, s84, s91

Resources

Mental Health Act 2007 Explanatory Notes - page 31