Test rss page

  • 23/01/19 (1620): FOIA response. Ministry of Justice, 'FOIA response 181221028: DOL conditions' (23/1/19) — In response to a FOIA request the MOJ have stated that (paraphrased): (1) There are 2712 conditionally-discharged patients. (2) A database search for the keywords "escorted" and "accompanied" identified 39 cases where the patient has a condition not to go into the community unless escorted or accompanied by staff. (3) A database search for the keyword "permission" did not identify any cases where the patient has a condition not to leave without permission. (4) It cannot be known for certain that these conditions amount to confinement for Article 5 purposes until each case is examined in discussion with the RC. (5) No information can be provided about capacity to abide by the conditions as this information is not held (information about capacity held within RCs' reports is not considered to be sufficiently recent). (6) There may be more than these 39 cases because: (a) the wording of conditions varies considerably; and (b) it is likely that in some cases the care plan, rather than a condition, includes arrangements that amount to a deprivation of liberty (RCs and others have been asked to contact the MOJ for advice in such cases).
  • 23/01/19 (1223): Inherent jurisdiction case. A Local Authority v BF [2018] EWCA Civ 2962An interim order made on 10/12/18 required BF to reside at a care home, over Christmas, and not at his own or his son's home, despite BF's having capacity to make decisions about his residence and wanting to return home. The order was expressed to last until a further hearing to take place no later than 31/1/19 (later fixed for 16/1/19) when the judge could hear full argument on what relief could be granted pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction. The local authority appealed on the basis that the order infringed Article 5. The appeal was dismissed: (1) BF is a vulnerable adult (old, blind, infirm, in a squalid and dangerous home, with undue influence present in relationship with son) who needs protection despite not lacking capacity. (2) The test of "unsound mind" is different from the test of capacity, and there is prima facie evidence that he may be of unsound mind. (3) In an emergency situation, someone may be deprived of their liberty in the absence of evidence of mental disorder without infringing Article 5 (Winterwerp); even if BF is found not to be of unsound mind, his vulnerability is such that he could not be returned home without careful planning, which is a crucial component of the protection afforded by the inherent jurisdiction. [This is a surprising decision on both the "unsoundness of mind" and "emergency situation" fronts. This permission judgment of 21/12/18 was published on 21/1/19; presumably the full judgment from the 10/12/18 and 16/1/19 hearings will be published soon.]
  • 21/01/19 (1): Infanticide case. R v Tunstill [2018] EWCA Crim 1696 — "This was a case where the child was killed soon after birth so that this case can be distinguished from the situation where mental ill health, usually post-partum psychosis, develops over a period of time. Nonetheless, there was evidence from Dr Bashir and Dr Khisty which showed that notwithstanding the existence of the appellant's pre-birth mental disorder, the effects of giving birth had led to a further condition, characterised by Dr Bashir as an acute stress reaction which was a causative factor in disturbing the balance of the appellant's mind. The issue of causation is a matter of fact for a jury after appropriate direction from a judge as to what can constitute a legally effective cause. For the reasons given, we consider that the effects of birth are not required by s.1(1) to be the sole cause of a disturbance of balance of the mind. In the circumstances, we are persuaded that the judge should not have withdrawn infanticide from the jury. There was evidence fit for the jury's consideration. It is not for this court to assess the likelihood of its success. Dr Barlow's evidence was to the contrary, but the issue for us is whether a jury should have had this alternative option to consider. We think it should have had that opportunity. In the circumstances, therefore, the conviction for murder is unsafe and the verdict is quashed. In our judgment, the interests of justice require a re-trial and we so order."