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Drilldown: Cases

Not many cases (259 of them) have been added to the database so far. To see the full list of cases (2085) go to the Mental health case law page.

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Cases > Parties : Secretary of State for Justice or VS

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Page name Sentence Summary
CM v Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (2011) UKUT 129 (AAC)

Nature and degree

(1) The Tribunal's decision not to discharge was made in error of law, and was set aside, (a) because there was no real evidence to support its view that non-compliance with medication and the risk of consequent relapse in the near future would probably occur, (b) because it did not establish that in these circumstances it had complied with the 'least restriction principle', (c) because of the irrationality in paragraph 21 of its decision (in that as the risk was of what might eventually happen it was hard to see how the envisaged leave regime could test that risk), and (d) because continued detention for the purposes of avoiding a chaotic lifestyle or drug taking or the absence of drug counselling is not permitted by law on the facts of this case. (2) The judgment contains a discussion of the 'nature' and 'degree' tests.

Djaba v West London Mental Health NHS Trust (2017) EWCA Civ 436

ECHR and tribunal criteria

"[T]he appeal is concerned with the narrow issue whether the statutory tests within ss. 72, 73 and 145 of the Mental Health Act 1983 require a 'proportionality assessment' to be conducted, pursuant to articles 5 and/or 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Human Rights Act 1998, taking into account the conditions of the appellant's detention. ... The position established by these cases is that, where the question whether the detention complies with the European Convention on Human Rights is not expressly within the powers of the tribunals but can be heard in other proceedings, section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998 does not require the powers of the tribunals to be interpreted by reference to the Convention to give them the powers to consider Convention-compliance as well. The same principle applies here too. In this case, the appellant must apply for judicial review to the Administrative Court if he considers that the conditions of his detention are disproportionate and do not comply with the Convention. That Court is able to carry out a sufficient review on the merits to meet the requirements of the Convention."

Djaba v West London Mental Health NHS Trust (2018) MHLO 76 (SC)

ECHR and tribunal criteria

On 15/3/18 the Supreme Court (Lady Hale, Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jones) refused Jasmin Djaba permission to appeal, giving brief reasons.

DL-H v West London MH NHS Trust (2017) UKUT 387 (AAC)

Religious beliefs and tribunal expertise

Judicial summary from Gov.uk website: (1) "In deciding whether a patient is manifesting religious beliefs or mental disorder, a tribunal is entitled to take account of evidence from both religious and medical experts." (2) "A tribunal is entitled to use its own expertise to make a different diagnosis from those of the medical witnesses, provided it allows the parties a chance to make submissions and explains its decision."

GM v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust (2020) UKUT 152 (AAC)

Change from s3 to s37 during tribunal proceedings

The First-tier Tribunal had been right to strike out proceedings arising from a s3 reference when the patient was subsequently made subject to a s37 hospital order. It would be contrary to statutory policy if the tribunal were to retain jurisdiction under an application or reference that was made before the date of the hospital order.

JD v West London Mental Health NHS Trust (2016) UKUT 496 (AAC)

ECHR and tribunal criteria

"The patient in this case is held in conditions of exclusion and restraint that are exceptional and perhaps unique. He occupies a ‘super seclusion suite’ consisting of a room with a partition that can divide it into two. No one is allowed to enter without the partition in place, except nursing staff wearing personal protective equipment in order to administer his depot injections. He is only allowed out of the suite in physical restraints that restrict his circulation and under escort by a number of members of staff. ... The Secretary of State referred the patient’s case to the First-tier Tribunal on 28 July 2015. The hearing took place on 19 and 20 November 2015; the tribunal’s reasons are dated 23 November 2015. ... What the tribunal did not do was to deal expressly with the human rights argument put by Ms Bretherton on the patient’s behalf. On 7 January 2016, the tribunal gave permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal identifying as the issue: 'to what extent should the circumstances of the patient’s detention, and any possible breach of the European Convention as a result thereof, have any bearing on the First-tier Tribunal’s exercise of considering sections 72 and 73? Following from that, if the Tribunal is satisfied that the circumstances of a patient’s detention are a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, how should that be reflected in the decisions that the First-tier Tribunal can lawfully make?'"

Joseph, Application for Reconsideration by (2019) PBRA 43

Reconsideration of Parole Board decision

Unsuccessful application by prisoner with mental health background for reconsideration on basis of irrationality and procedural unfairness of Parole Board oral hearing panel's decision not to direct release on licence.

JS v SLAM NHS Foundation Trust (2019) UKUT 172 (AAC)

Reinstatement

(1) Reinstatement: "As there is no right to reinstatement, the tribunal has a discretion whether or not to reinstate the party’s ‘case’. It must, like all discretions, be exercised judicially and that involves complying with the overriding objective of the tribunal’s rules of procedure, which is ‘to enable the Tribunal to deal with cases fairly and justly’ (rule 2(1)). ... Considered methodically, the factors that the tribunal should take into account neatly divide into three. First, the tribunal should consider whether there is anything to undermine either the patient’s application to withdraw or the tribunal’s consent. Just to give some examples, the application may have been based on a misunderstanding of the facts or the law. Or there may be an issue whether the patient had capacity or gave informed consent. Or the tribunal’s reasons for consenting may have been defective. Second, there may have been a change of circumstances that makes it appropriate to agree to reinstatement. Third, the tribunal will have to consider any other factors that may be relevant under the overriding objective. These will include: (a) the reasons given in support of the application, whatever they may be; (b) any prejudice to the patient in refusing consent; (c) any detriment to the other parties if consent is given; (d) any prejudice to other patients if consent is given; and (d) any impact that reinstatement might have on the operation of the tribunal’s mental health jurisdiction system as a whole." (2) Respondent status: "[T]he Trust was properly named as a respondent on the appeal to the Upper Tribunal ... The Trust was the responsible authority and, as such, a party to the proceedings in the First-tier Tribunal ... On appeal by the patient to the Upper Tribunal, everyone else who was a party before the First-tier Tribunal became a respondent ... That is standard procedure in appeal generally. The Trust’s letter shows a confusion between an appeal and a judicial review. In the latter, the tribunal is the respondent, and others may be interested parties."

MC v Cygnet Behavioural Health Ltd (2020) UKUT 230 (AAC)

Conditional discharge and DOL

(1) Although, following MM, the First-tier Tribunal has no power to impose conditions which would amount to a deprivation of liberty, it does have the power to coordinate its decision with the provision of an authorisation under the MCA, either by "the different hats approach" (the same judge sitting in the COP and the FTT) or "the ducks in a row approach" (adjournment or deferred conditional discharge). (2) This involves no Article 14 discrimination in favour of incapacitous restricted patients as, under SSJ guidance, the equivalent outcome can be reached for capacitous patients by using s17 leave. (3) The FTT had misunderstood the MM decision and had been wrong to refuse to defer conditional discharge for a standard authorisation to be put in place. (4) The UT discharged the patient subject to conditions of residence, supervision and compliance with "all aspects of the care package" (surprisingly, as the care package would amount to a deprivation of liberty), with permission to apply to the FTT for variation on a material change in circumstances (surprisingly, as the MHA sets out when an application may be made).

R (EG) v Parole Board (2020) EWHC 1457 (Admin)

Parole Board representation for those lacking capacity

(1) The Parole Board Rules 2019 introduced a power to appoint a representative "where the prisoner lacks the capacity to appoint a representative and the panel chair or duty member believes that it is in the prisoner's best interests for the prisoner to be represented". In the absence of anything similar to the accreditation system operating in the MHT (and the LAA's pragmatic approach to the regulation preventing providers from making an application for Legal Aid) a solicitor cannot "assume the dual role of legal representative and litigation friend" and so this appointment power cannot be exercised. (2) The 2019 rules, although silent on the matter, allow for the appointment of a litigation friend because: (a) "other representative" in the expression "solicitor, barrister or other representative" includes litigation friend; and, if that is wrong, (b) as with the 2016 rules, it is allowed when necessary under the general power to make directions. (3) In the absence of an accreditation scheme or other litigation friend, the prisoner needed the Official Solicitor to act if his parole review was to progress; (obiter) the OS has the statutory power to act in Parole Board proceedings. (4) The judge limited her decision to issues concerning EG individually, and criticised counsel for EG and the EHRC for continuing the trend in public law litigation of grounds of challenge evolving during proceedings in a way which lacked procedural rigour (in this case, by raising wider issues including the identification and assessment of non-capacitous prisoners and the Public Sector Equality Duty).

R (Hall) v SSJ (2018) EWHC 1905 (Admin)

Autism in prison

Unsuccessful judicial review by prisoner claiming breach of Equality Act 2010 reasonable adjustments duty.

R (LV) v SSJ (2012) EWHC 3899 (Admin)

MHT/Parole Board delay

"This is a renewed application for permission to apply for judicial review challenging delay, it is said, on the part of the Secretary of State for Justice and the Parole Board in fixing a hearing of the Parole Board."

R (LV) v SSJ (2013) EWCA Civ 1086

MHT/PB delay

The applicant had been given an IPP sentence then transferred to hospital under s47/49. On 12/12/11 the MHT decided she met the criteria for conditional discharge. The dossier reached the Parole Board on 29/3/12, and the hearing was arranged for 12/3/13. She claimed a breach of Article 5(4) during: (a) the period before the dossier was ready, when no judicial body was responsible for supervising her progress and the potentiality for release, and (b) the subsequent long period until the Parole Board met. The Court of Appeal gave permission to apply for judicial review (being simpler than giving permission to appeal the High Court's refusal of permission to apply for judicial review).

R (LV) v SSJ (2014) EWHC 1495 (Admin)

MHT/PB delay

"In the light of authority, Mr Southey accepts that he cannot submit as a matter of principle that the system by which the Claimant's release was considered by two successive bodies, the Tribunal and the Parole Board, is in conflict with the Claimant's Article 5(4) rights. ... He goes on to argue that, on the facts as they are here, if there were to be two hearings before two bodies, the state had a legal obligation to ensure expedition throughout the overall process. He says there was no such expedition, since the review of the legality of the Claimant's detention took almost 22 months from the date when the Claimant applied to the Tribunal on 24 May 2011 to the decision of the Parole Board on 21 March 2013. Within that period, Mr Southey makes a series of specific complaints as to periods of delay. ... The claim for judicial review is dismissed as against both Defendants. ... Although it took a considerable time to be resolved, there was in my view no breach of the obligation on the part of the State to provide a 'speedy' resolution."

Re K (Forced Marriage: Passport Order) (2020) EWCA Civ 190

FMPOs and capacity

(1) The Family Court the court has jurisdiction to make a Forced Marriage Protection Order to protect an adult who does not lack mental capacity (and the statistics demonstrate that the courts regularly make FMPOs to protect capacitous adults). (2) An open-ended passport order or travel ban should only be imposed in the most exceptional of cases and where the court can look sufficiently far into the future to be satisfied that highly restrictive orders of that nature will be required indefinitely.

SLL v Priory Healthcare Limited (2019) UKUT 323 (AAC)

Inadequate reasons for not absolutely discharging

The patient challenged the tribunal's decision to grant a conditional, rather than absolute, discharge. (1) Ground 1: Failure properly to apply the two-stage process required by s73(1) and (2). The MHRT had decided (under s73(1)) that the s72(1)(b)(i) (appropriateness) test was not met, and had moved straight to s73(2) (absolute or conditional discharge) without considering s72(1)(b)(ii) (necessity) or s72(1)(b)(iia) (appropriate treatment). The UT decided that the statute permitted the tribunal to stop once it had decided that it was not satisfied of the first s72 test. However, s73(2) required the tribunal to make findings on substantially similar matters, albeit on a forward-looking basis, and to make a decision on the type of discharge on the basis of those findings. Without express findings (in particular in relation to potential medical treatment for any psychotic condition the patient may suffer from) and an explanation of how the relevant factors were weighed (including the two factors discussed below) it was not possible to be sure how the tribunal reached its decision. The UT gave guidance in paras 33-35 on the findings likely to be required when considering s73(2), and in para 47 on the appropriateness of treatment with no realistic prospect of therapeutic benefit. (2) Ground 2: Failure to give adequate reasons. The Appellant had presented credible expert evidence that risk could be managed by future Part 2 detention rather than the recall power, so it was incumbent on the Tribunal to explain why it was not persuaded by that evidence: instead, it had merely quoted another doctor's evidence (which stated that recall would be available but did not grapple with the Part 2 issue) and said that this evidence was "more apt". The Appellant had also argued that the setting of a psychiatric hospital was positively harmful, and the tribunal had failed to explain its rejection of this argument. Taken as a whole it was not adequately clear why the tribunal was not satisfied that it was inappropriate for the Appellant to continue to be liable to recall to hospital for further treatment.

SSJ v KC (2015) UKUT 376 (AAC)

Conditional discharge and DOL

(1) A conditional discharge may include conditions which will, on an objective assessment, give rise to a deprivation of liberty, if that deprivation of liberty is authorised under the MCA. (2) (Obiter) The same conditions would be lawful for a patient with capacity who gives real consent since this would mean there is no Article 5 deprivation of liberty.

SSJ v MM (2018) UKSC 60

The patient had capacity to and was prepared to consent to a conditional discharge requiring that he live at a particular place, which he would not be free to leave, and from which he would not be allowed out without an escort. (1) The Supreme Court decided 4-1 that the MHA 1983 does not permit either the First-tier Tribunal or the Secretary of State to impose conditions amounting to detention or a deprivation of liberty upon a conditionally discharged restricted patient. (2) The dissenting decision was that the tribunal has the power to impose such conditions so long as the loss of liberty is not greater than that already authorised by the hospital and restriction orders, and that this power does not depend on the consent of the (capacitous) patient.

VS v St Andrew's Healthcare (2018) UKUT 250 (AAC)

Capacity to make tribunal application

(1) The capacity that a patient must have in order to make a valid MHT application is that the patient must understand that he is being detained against his wishes and that the First-tier Tribunal is a body that will be able to decide whether he should be released. This is a lower threshold than the capacity to conduct proceedings. (2) (Obiter) a solicitor appointed under rule 11(7)(b) can request to withdraw an application in the best interests of the patient, but on the facts the tribunal had been entitled to give effect to the patient's own desire to come before a tribunal. (3) When a tribunal lacks jurisdiction it should strike out the proceedings but (obiter) if the proceedings were fair then the use of withdrawal rather than strike out is unlikely to be a material error of law.

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