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  • 27/07/15 (1): Upper Tribunal case. Case HM/0339/2015 (2015) MHLO 57 (UT)After the case had been adjourned part-heard, the patient's withdrawal was agreed by a tribunal clerk. The panel judge spoke with a salaried tribunal judge, who then set aside the decision to consent to withdrawal, and the tribunal reconvened without discharging the patient. The salaried tribunal judge's decision was unlawful and the tribunal therefore had no jurisdiction to continue with the hearing.
  • 20/07/15 (6): Deputyship case. Re HC: Public Guardian v CC (2015) EWCOP 29, (2015) MHLO 55 — "This is an application by the Public Guardian for an order under section 16(8) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 revoking the appointment of a deputy because he has behaved in a way that contravenes the authority conferred on him by the court or is not in the best interests of the person for whom he acts as deputy."
  • 20/07/15 (3): Best interests case. Re LC: Bedford Borough Council v Mrs C and Mr C (2015) EWCOP 25, (2015) MHLO 52 — "The proceedings concern Mrs C’s best interests in relation to residence and her contact with her husband and a deprivation of her liberty. ... There is also in existence a separate application by the local authority for a deputy for property and affairs to be appointed for her."
  • 20/07/15 (2): Criminal injuries compensation case. Newcastle City Council v PV (2015) EWCOP 22, (2015) MHLO 51 — "This judgment considers the role of the Court of Protection in connection with applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority ('CICA'). In particular, it looks at cases in which the CICA requires a trust to be created in order to exclude any possibility that the assailant may benefit from the compensation award. These cases arise almost exclusively in the context of domestic violence, where the assailant is a family member."
  • 20/07/15 (1): Sterilisation case. The Mental Health Trust v DD (2015) EWCOP 4, (2015) MHLO 50 — "For the reasons set out above, I propose to declare: (i) pursuant to section 15 of the 2005 Act that DD lacks capacity to litigate in relation to the relevant issues; (ii) pursuant to section 15 of the 2005 Act that DD lacks capacity to make decisions in respect of contraception; (iii) pursuant to section 15 of the 2005 Act that it is lawful and in DD's best interests to undergo a therapeutic sterilisation and authorise the applicants' staff to do so, together with the provision of all ancillary care and treatment; Further, (iv) subject to certain safeguards (more fully set out in the care plan and reflected in the proposed draft order) being required, I propose to authorise the applicants to remove DD from her home and take steps to convey her to hospital for the purposes of the sterilisation procedure, and authorise the use of reasonable and proportionate measures to ensure that she is able to receive the said treatment even if any deprivation of liberty is caused by the same; (v) I authorise the applicants to take such necessary and proportionate steps to give effect to the best interests declarations above to include, forced entry and necessary restraint, and authorise that any interferences with DD's rights under Article 8 of the ECHR as being in her best interests."
  • 15/07/15 (1): DOL and conditional discharge. SSJ v KC (2015) UKUT 376 (AAC), (2015) MHLO 49(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.
  • 12/07/15 (1): Deprivation of liberty case. Re MOD (Deprivation of Liberty) (2015) MHLO 48 (COP)Nine cases which had been issued under the Re X streamlined procedure were listed for directions before DJ Marin. (1) One case (ML) would require a best interests hearing so never really belonged in the Re X procedure, but orders under the Re X procedure would or would potentially have been made in the other cases. (2) The Court of Appeal in Re X had (obiter, and without referring to new rule 3A) decided that P should be a party in every deprivation of liberty case. (3) Party status would entail the need for a litigation friend but, except for an IMCA in one case (MOD), no-one suitable had been identified: (a) in most of these cases, the family may be said to have an adverse interest to the person concerned; (b) there must be a question in every case as to whether family members have the required expertise; (c) the Official Solicitor refused to act as his COP Health & Welfare team was already "fire-fighting" at an unsustainable level owing to budgetary constraints; (d) IMCAs in one borough refused to act without indemnity insurance, which it was hoped would be in place by the end of 2016. (4) The result was that none of these cases could proceed, and neither could hundreds and potentially thousands of others: the judge said he "cannot think of a more serious situation to have faced a court in recent legal history". (5) These cases were transferred to the Vice President of the COP (Charles J) to decide on the following issues: (a) whether P must be joined as a party in a case involving deprivation of liberty; (b) whether the appointment of a rule 3A representative is sufficient in a case involving deprivation of liberty; (c) if P must be joined as a party, in the absence of any suitable person to act as litigation friend, what should be done in circumstances where the Official Solicitor cannot accept an invitation to act; (d) whether a family member can act as litigation friend in circumstances where that family member has an interest in the outcome of the proceedings; (e) whether other deprivation of liberty cases not before the court on this occasion but which raise similar issues to this case should be stayed pending a determination of the issues recorded at paragraphs (a) to (d). (6) The Official Solicitor was ordered to file and serve a statement which would: (a) provide a full and evidence-based explanation of why he cannot cope with the number of deprivation of liberty applications in which he is invited to act as litigation friend; (b) explain in full detail providing evidence where appropriate as to which areas or processes cause him difficulty and why; (c) inform the court when he expects to be able to cope with deprivation of liberty cases and the likely time scale in which he can start work on a case; (d) provide any other information to the court what will assist the court to make decisions in this case regarding the position of the Official Solicitor. (7) The court refused to approve deprivations of liberty on an interim basis ..→
  • 28/06/15 (2): MHLA re-accreditation course. The Mental Health Lawyers Association are running a Refresher and Re-accreditation course on Thursday 9/7/15 in Manchester. This new course will be suitable for those seeking re-accreditation and will also be of interest to anyone wishing to further their knowledge of mental health law and practice. Price: £150 (MHLA members); £195 (non-members). CPD: 6 hours. See MHLA website for further information and to book online. See Events
  • 28/06/15 (1): MHLA Legal Aid course. The Mental Health Lawyers Association are running a Legal Aid and Peer Review course on Monday 6/7/15 in London, and on Friday 10/7/15 in Manchester. This course provides guidance on the Legal Aid provisions in mental health cases, including escape-fee cases and requirements for means testing. It will also broaden practitioners’ knowledge of the peer review process and the peer review ‘Improving your Quality’ guidance. Price: £150 (MHLA members); £195 (non-members). CPD: 6 hours. See MHLA website for details of the London and Manchester courses, and to book online. See Events
  • 26/06/15 (1): Capacity/housing case. R (MT) v Oxford City Council (2015) EWHC 795 (Admin), (2015) MHLO 47The claimant's application via his deputy to the defendant as homeless was rejected on the basis that his lack of capacity to make such an application meant that there was no duty under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996. (1) The claimant's argument that Article 14 (with Article 8) meant the otherwise-binding House of Lords decision in Garlick should not be followed was unsuccessful. (2) In any event, it is not discriminatory to provide two different systems for provision of accommodation (the system potentially available to MT was at that time s21 National Assistance Act 1948).
  • 24/06/15 (2): Unfitness to plead case. R v Wells (2015) EWCA Crim 2, (2015) MHLO 46 — "Where a defendant's disability impacts on his/her ability to take part in a trial but he/she is not otherwise affected by a psychiatric condition such as renders what is said in interview unreliable (whether or not the delusional traits are apparent on the face of the interview), there is no reason why the jury should not hear them albeit with an appropriate warning. When considering the extent to which evidence of the interview should be admitted, it remains relevant to consider all the circumstances."
  • 24/06/15 (1): Miscellaneous case. Re A (2015) EWHC 1709 (Fam), (2015) MHLO 45 — "The Local Authority applies for a secure accommodation order in respect of her under s.25 of the Children Act 1989. The Local Authority's case is that A is a danger to herself and others, and that she is no longer containable in any form of ordinary residential unit. ... Put in lay language, the expert consensus of CAMHS is that A's problems, although recognised as being severe and extreme, are not of a mental health or psychiatric nature; but rather are of a behavioural nature. Therefore, admission to a Young Person's Psychiatric Unit for assessment and potential subsequent treatment is not currently 'on offer' as a way of dealing with A's problems. ... Conventionally, a specific placement is identified before a secure accommodation order is made. However, that is simply not possible here, and both the Local Authority and the Children's Guardian invite me to make the order in general terms, leaving it to the Local Authority, on consultation with the Children's Guardian, to place A at an appropriate unit as and when one is identified. ... A can be seen as falling between two stools. She is not amenable to a psychiatric disposal on the expert report available, but she is unable to be contained in ordinary residential homes. It is clearly unsatisfactory that no secure arrangements can readily be found for her, and that she remains currently at some measure of risk, howsoever hard the staff struggle to contain it, in the ordinary residential unit where she is placed. The Local Authority must, and will, therefore continue its efforts to find secure accommodation. They tell me that funding is not a problem in this case. The Local Authority will also be considering the possibility of obtaining an independent psychiatric report into her situation, which could then be shared with the local CAMHS team to see if it affected their current opinion."
  • 18/06/15 (1): Editable versions of section papers. Following a request, rich text format (RTF) versions of forms A2, A3 and A4 (the section 2 detention papers) have been uploaded. If there is sufficient demand, other forms can be converted from PDF and made available. See Mental Health Act 1983 Statutory Forms

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