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06/01/17 (4): MHLA: Panel course - Leeds, 2/3/17 and 3/3/17 — The MHLA is an approved provider of the two-day course which must be attended by prospective members of the Law Society’s mental health accreditation scheme. Price: £300 (MHLA members); £390 (non-members); £270 (group discount). See MHLA website for further details and to book online.
06/01/17 (3): MHLA: Panel course - London, 27/2/17 and 28/2/18 — The MHLA is an approved provider of the two-day course which must be attended by prospective members of the Law Society’s mental health accreditation scheme. Price: £300 (MHLA members); £390 (non-members); £270 (group discount). See MHLA website for further details and to book online.
06/01/17 (2): MHLA: Foundation course - Manchester, 20/2/17 — This course is aimed at new practitioners and those intending to attend the Panel course in the near future. Attendance at the Foundation course is strongly recommended in order to achieve a sound understanding of the basic principles of mental health law, practice and procedure and in order to achieve the most from the two-day Panel course, which is a pre-requisite for application to The Law Society’s mental health panel. Price: £150 (MHLA members); £195 (non-members). See MHLA website for further details and to book online.
30/12/16 (3): Ministry of Justice, 'The recall of conditionally discharged restricted patients' (4/2/09). details. See Recall#External links
30/12/16 (2): Department of Health, 'Recall of mentally disordered patients subject to Home Office restrictions on discharge' (LAC(93)9, 14/4/93). details. See Recall#External links
30/12/16 (1): Ministry of Justice, 'Restricted Patients 2014 England and Wales: Statistics Bulletin' (29/4/15). details. See Statistics#Ministry of Justice
29/12/16 (1): Sex case (from 2014, but published on Bailii yesterday).R v GA  EWCA Crim 299,  MHLO 148 — "Section 1(2) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides that 'A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that he lacks capacity'. When capacity to consent is in issue in criminal proceedings, the burden of proving incapacity falls upon the party asserting it and will inevitably be the prosecution. We consider that, other than in criminal proceedings pursuant to section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act, the prosecution must discharge that burden to the criminal standard of proof; that is, they must make the jury sure that the complainant did not have capacity to consent. If the jury cannot be sure that the relevant complainant lacks capacity, then they must be directed to assume that he or she does. The issue for them then will be an examination of all the facts and circumstances to determine whether or not the complainant consented to the act or acts in question and whether the alleged assailant knew they did not consent or did not believe that they did so or were unreasonable in their belief that there was consent. In this particular case, expert evidence was led before the jury on the question of the complainant's capacity. It appears to us that it will inevitably be the case, if capacity is an issue, that an expert will be called to provide evidence which would not otherwise be within the common experience of the jury. It is vitally important that such evidence is 'expert', relevant and only deals with the matter in issue, namely capacity. Having read the transcript of the prosecution expert evidence in this case we regret to say that she exceeded her remit, particularly in articulating her own interpretation of the facts as to whether or not the complainant did consent. It is unfortunate that the witness was not adequately managed in the court process as a whole. What is more, it seems to us that the opinions expressed by the prosecution expert did not reflect the jurisprudence at the time. Therefore, even if not conceded we would have allowed the appeal being certain that decided that the jury's finding was unsafe on two grounds: (i) the judge adopted the wrong standard of proof in his directions to the jury in relation to the issue of capacity; and (ii) the expert evidence not fit for purpose to assist the jury to come to any conclusion at all as to the capacity of by the complainant to consent to sexual relations."
28/12/16 (5): Edge Training: MCA and Tenancy Agreements - London, 24/2/17 — This course will consider how staff should assess mental capacity in relation to tenancy agreements and the key case law in this area. It will also consider the legal validity of tenancy agreements signed by, or on behalf of, those lacking capacity; and when people lacking capacity may be placed without a tenancy agreement being in place. Speaker: Aasya Mughal. Cost: £130 + VAT (£156). See flyer for further details and booking information.
28/12/16 (4): Edge Training: Hoarding and the Law - London, 8/5/17 — This one-day interactive course for mental health and social care professionals reviews the different manifestations of hoarding and the possible origins of this behaviour, and then considers a range of possible responses under the law and where each one might be appropriate. Speaker: Simon Foster. Cost: £130 plus VAT. See flyer for further details and booking information.
28/12/16 (3): Edge Training: DOL in children and young people - London, 15/5/17 — This course aims to update staff working with children, young people and those in transition with the latest case law and developments in relation to deprivation of liberty. The course will consider these developments and their impact on practice. It examines the Supreme Court ruling on deprivation of liberty and considers practical issues in its application for children and young people. Speaker: Dawn Revell. Cost: £130 plus VAT. See flyer for further details and booking information.
28/12/16 (2): Edge Training: DOLS Authorised Signatories - London, 26/5/17 — This course aims to provide guidance on the role of signatories and to update designated signatories in relation to the latest case law around their specific role within the DOLS procedures Please note: this course is not designed for BIAs but specifically the role of local authority managers acting as authorised signatories. Speaker: Steven Richards. Cost: £130 plus VAT. See flyer for further details and booking information.
28/12/16 (1): Edge Training: Hoarding and the Law - London, 6/10/17 — This one-day interactive course for mental health and social care professionals reviews the different manifestations of hoarding and the possible origins of this behaviour, and then considers a range of possible responses under the law and where each one might be appropriate. Speaker: Simon Foster. Cost: £130 plus VAT. See flyer for further details and booking information.
27/12/16 (2): Negligence case.Henderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 3275 (QB),  MHLO 56 — "On 25th August 2010 Ms Henderson ('the Claimant') stabbed her mother to death. She was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time, and her condition had recently worsened. It is common ground between the parties that this tragic event would not have happened but for the Defendant's breaches of duty in failing to respond in an appropriate way to the Claimant's mental collapse. The Claimant has now brought proceedings in the tort of negligence claiming general damages under various heads, special damages and future losses, and liability has been admitted. The Defendant's position is that all of the claims should be defeated on illegality or public policy grounds, and that binding authority of the Court of Appeal and House of Lords compels that outcome. ... In my view, there are three main questions for me to consider within the agenda circumscribed by the preliminary issue: (1) the correct interpretation of the sentencing remarks of Foskett J [in the Claimant's case], and the extent to which it is permissible, if at all, to go behind them; (2) whether there is binding authority of the Court of Appeal and House of Lords precluding some or all of these claims; and (3) if not, whether the law as accurately enunciated (there remains a dispute between the parties as to what it is) permits, or obviates, the maintenance of some or all of these claims. I frame the questions in this manner because it is the Defendant's submission that I am bound by the decision of the Court of Appeal in Clunis v Camden and Islington HA  QB 978 and that of the House of Lords in Gray v Thames Trains Ltd  1 AC 1339. If I were to uphold the Defendant's submission on stare decisis, the parties are agreed that I need not express a view on question (3) above on the hypothetical basis that I might be overruled. If, on the other hand, question (3) does properly arise for decision, the parties are agreed that the case should be listed for further argument on this point. ...I ... refuse to issue a certificate under section 12 of the Administration of Justice Act 1969. I also refuse permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal for the reason indicated under paragraphs 99 and 104 above."
27/12/16 (1): Deprivation of liberty case.SSJ v Staffordshire County Council and SRK  EWCA Civ 1317,  MHLO 55 — "The issue in this case is whether, in order for the United Kingdom to avoid being in breach of Article 5(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights, it is necessary for a welfare order to be made by the Court of Protection pursuant to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in a case where an individual, who lacks the capacity to make decisions about where to live and the regime of care, treatment and support that he should receive, is to be given such care, treatment and support entirely by private sector providers in private accommodation in circumstances which, objectively, are a deprivation of his liberty within the meaning of Article 5(1) of the Convention."
19/12/16 (1): Ben Troke, 'Court of Protection and deprivation of liberty update - a "perfect storm" coming?' (Browne Jacobson website, 15/12/16). See Newsletters#Browne Jacobson
18/12/16 (1): Medical treatment case.Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University LHB v RY  EWHC 3256 (Fam),  MHLO 54 — "On 12th October this year the applicant Health Board applied to this court for declarations both as to 'capacity' and 'best interests' under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, concerning RY, to permit withdrawal of ventilation, withholding of life-sustaining treatment, and provision of palliative care only. RY's daughter has from the beginning asserted that, when ventilation is removed, life-sustaining treatment should be provided. I am asked to approve an order filed with the consent of all the parties which provides for some life-sustaining treatment, but not CPR or further intensive care. ... However, there have been a number of recent videos taken of RY ... which have led [Dr Badwan] to conclude that RY is not in a vegetative state, but is in a minimally conscious state with some signs of being in upper minimally conscious state. ... This morning the very experienced advocates in this case presented a plan, by agreement, in which it was proposed that RY underwent a tracheostomy under general anaesthetic and, transferred to a suitable unit for further treatment and/or assessment. ... As a Judge sitting in the Court of Protection, I have experience of litigants seeking very extensive assessments and re-assessments, in a way that occurred in the Family Division in Children Act 1989 proceedings, most particularly in public law care proceedings. The reasons for both strike me as similar, namely that the decisions the Court is asked to make are of such great importance and carry such profound consequences that there is, I think, a forensic instinct to leave no stone unturned. I am bound to say however, that I sometimes feel that I am being asked to authorise a petrological survey on the upturned stone. Just as the Family Justice reforms have re-emphasised the real dangers to vulnerable children caused by avoidable delay, so to, it seems to me, practitioners in this field must recognise that delay which is not, on a true analysis, either constructive or purposeful is almost certainly damaging and thus inimical to P's welfare. Though avoidance of delay is not a statutory imperative in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 the principle is now so deeply embedded in the law of England and Wales and across every jurisdiction of law that it should be read into Court of Protection proceedings as a facet of Article 6 and 8 ECHR. It requires to be restated that the Court of Protection Rules provide for the Court to restrict expert evidence and assessment, application must be made by completing form COP9. ... Given the scale of the hypoxic damage, the preponderant evidence suggests that any significant improvement may be rather a forlorn hope. I think RY's family should be under no delusion as to the prospects. That 'flicker of hope', says the Official Solicitor, is one that should be pursued on RY's behalf. Ultimately, I have acceded to that submission but I do so on a very particular basis and that is that the assessment process, which has been outlined in framework ..→
15/12/16 (2): Healthy London Partnership, 'Mental health crisis care for Londoners: London's section 136 pathway and Health Based Place of Safety specification' (December 2016). See MHA 1983 s136#External links
09/12/16 (1): PI trust case.OH v Craven  EWHC 3146 (QB),  MHLO 52 — "This brings me back to the focus of my concern. The firm of solicitors who have acted in the successful litigation will have established a relationship of trust and confidence with the claimant or the litigation friend. At the successful conclusion of the litigation the person in whom trust is reposed then suggests a further transaction out of which its associate will derive a personal benefit. The adviser suggests that a private trust is the preferable arrangement, and that its associated trust corporation should be appointed trustee and should charge for acting, although there are many other trust corporations who could fulfil the role. So the client is retained for the long term. The solicitors before me suggested that this arrangement was not about an integrated business model (whereby the litigation solicitors secure for their associate the future income stream of management fees, the size of which will be under its control, together with any transactional fees) but was an arrangement for the convenience of clients who wanted a "one stop shop" in personal injury litigation. But this is a shop that stocks only one product. The principled approach to this situation is in my judgment as follows. The law irrebuttably presumes that a solicitor has influence over his client: Etridge  UKHL 44 at . Vesting a large sum of money to which the settlor has recently become absolutely entitled in the settlor's solicitor upon a bare trust for the settlor (but subject to charging and other powers vested in the solicitor) cannot readily be accounted for by ordinary motives. It is a transaction that calls for an explanation (in a way that making a family solicitor the trustee of a family trust or making a partner in the will draftsman's firm the prospective executor simply do not). It gives rise to a rebuttable evidential presumption that the solicitor's influence has been undue. The burden lies on the solicitor to adduce evidence rebutting this presumption. Typically, that evidence will demonstrate that the settlor had independent advice such that the constitution of the bare trust was a spontaneous act undertaken in circumstances which enabled the settlor to weigh matters up and to exercise his or her own free will. How might that be done? In my judgment where the litigation firm proposes the establishment of a "personal injury trust" in relation to a settlement of £1 million or more where its in-house trust corporation is to be a trustee then (drawing on the established practice in applications under the Variation of Trust Act 1958 and in trust compromises) a separate partner in the firm should instruct Chancery Counsel of not less than 5 years' standing to advise the claimant or the litigation friend in writing as to the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed private trust (both as to its strategic advantages and as to its exact provisions, including the advantage of trusts other than bare trusts) and as to the trusteeship arrangements: ..→
06/12/16 (2): Contempt of court case.Devon County Council v Teresa Kirk  EWCA Civ 1221,  MHLO 51 — "In the circumstances of the present case, where a party was facing the likelihood of a prison sentence for contempt, but where that party, whom the court accepts had genuine and sincere objections to the welfare determination that had been made, had issued an application for permission to appeal that welfare determination, it was simply premature for the judge to press on with the committal application. The absence of an application for a stay of the order, where it is almost certain that a stay would have been granted pending receipt of the transcript of Baker J's judgment [the welfare determination], should not have been taken as justification for proceeding with the committal application. ... I end with a reminder to contemnors and their representatives of the availability of public funding. ... Whatever the limitations of civil funding, public funding in contempt cases is available under the criminal scheme. ...The effect of [a Court of Appeal decision] is that this covers all proceedings for contempt of court, whether criminal or civil in nature and whether arising in the context of criminal, civil or family proceedings. Because this is criminal public funding, it can be ordered by the court. ... In the same way, criminal public funding is available in this court."
06/12/16 (1): Contempt of court case.Re M: Devon County Council v Teresa Kirk  EWCOP 42,  MHLO 50 — "This is an application made by a Local Authority for committal for contempt of court... The backdrop to this application is a long-running case in the Court of Protection concerning MM. ... The court went on to make declarations. Firstly, that MM lacked capacity. Secondly, that it was in his best interests to live in England, in the area of the South West. Thirdly, that it was not in his best interests to continue to reside at the care home in Portugal; and further ordered at para.7 that, no later than 4pm on 27 June 2016, Mrs. Kirk shall provide to the Local Authority a signed copy of the written declaration of authority... The short point about that provision in the order is that it provided for Mrs. Kirk to sign the written declaration of authority so that MM could be released to the local authority. The order had a penal notice attached to it, the recitals are very clear. ... I apply the criminal standard to the only breach with which I am concerned, which is as set out in the order. I am entirely satisfied and sure - indeed, it is accepted in the face of the court - that Mrs. Kirk has not provided the written declaration of authority... I shall pass a sentence of six months' imprisonment. However, I shall suspend the warrant for a period of seven days only to give Mrs Kirk one last chance to comply..."
04/12/16 (1): Legal Aid forms page updated. This page has been updated, including with a link to the current Form CW1&2 (MH). See Legal Aid forms
29/11/16 (2): Northern Irish DOL case (from 2014).JMCA v The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust  NICA 37,  MHLO 147 — "Treacy J held that the supervision of this appellant was with legal authority and lawful and that the 1986 Order did authorise the guardian to take the impugned measures in the circumstances of this case. Subsequent to his decision the Supreme Court examined the concepts of deprivation of liberty and restriction of liberty in the case of patients suffering from mental health difficulties in Cheshire West and Chester Council v P  UKSC 19,  MHLO 16. It is unnecessary for us to set out the facts or reasoning in that decision. It is, however, now accepted by the Trust that the guardianship order did not provide any mechanism for the imposition of any restriction on the entitlement of the appellant to leave the home at which he was residing for incidental social or other purposes. ... Mr Potter on behalf of the appellant in this case recognised that this left a lacuna in the law. That gap had been filled by Schedule 7 of the Mental Health Act 2007 in England and Wales which introduced deprivation of liberty legislation into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 providing a mechanism for the lawful restriction on or deprivation of liberty of a person such as the appellant. It is clear that urgent consideration should now be given to the implementation of similar legislation in this jurisdiction."
29/11/16 (1): Northern Irish DOL case.Re NS (Inherent jurisdiction: patient: liberty: medical treatment)  NIFam 9,  MHLO 49 — "The applications are brought to the court under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court [in Northern Ireland]. The Trust sought a declaratory order in June to move NS from a hospital to a care home. This was opposed by MS who said that he could care for NS. However, the Trust and the Official Solicitor acting on behalf of NS felt that she would only receive the appropriate care and treatment befitting her needs in the care home. The test in relation to this has been set out by Mr Potter in a skeleton argument. He articulates this as a two-fold test, namely: (a) whether or not NS has the capacity to provide a legally valid consent to the proposed care and treatment; and (b) that the proposed care and treatment is necessary and in her best interests. The consideration of this case falls within the common law jurisdiction."
24/11/16 (1): DOLS case.P v A Local Authority  MHLO 140 — "This is an application by P (the Applicant) acting through his litigation friend, the Official Solicitor, for an order under section 21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) discharging the standard authorisation made on 24 June 2015 which authorises a deprivation of liberty in his current accommodation (the placement)."
23/11/16 (1): CQC, 'Monitoring the Mental Health Act in 2015/16' (21/11/16). These are the key points from Part 1 ("The Mental Health Act in action") and Part 2 ("CQC and the Mental Health Act") respectively: (1) We have seen examples of good practice and innovative approaches to overcoming areas of concern highlighted in our previous reports. We have met thousands of staff who are compassionate and dedicated to providing the best support and treatment they possibly can for their patients. (b) Staff had received training on the changes in the Code, or the revised policies and procedures to reflect its guidance, on less than half of wards we sampled. From 2016, we have taken these failings into account and use them to inform the ratings we issue to providers. (c) Overall, the figures for care planning, patient involvement and discharge planning subject areas show unacceptable variation in meeting the Code’s expectations, similar to those recorded in the 2014/15 report. Some services need to address the quality of care in these areas for people detained under the MHA. (d) One in 10 records do not show evidence that patients have had their rights explained to them at the point of detention. This leads to patients not knowing what to expect, or understanding their rights under the MHA. (e) We were notified of 201 deaths of detained patients by natural causes, 46 deaths by unnatural causes and 19 yet to be determined verdicts. (2) In 2015/16: (a) We carried out 1,349 visits, met with 4,282 patients and required 6,867 actions from providers. (b) Our Second Opinion Appointed Doctor service carried out 14,601 visits to review patient treatment plans, and changed treatment plans in 27% of their visits. (c) We received 1,422 complaints and enquiries about the way the MHA was applied to patients. Issues identified included medication, care provided by doctors and nurses, leave arrangements and safeguarding concerns. See Care Quality Commission#CQC - Reports on MHA
19/11/16 (1): Inherent jurisdiction case.Re L: K v LBX  EWHC 2607 (Fam),  MHLO 47 — "In essence, K says that this court should intervene because his son lacks capacity to be able to decide contact. More recently he has made an application to remove Miss O'Connell as a litigation friend for L. ... By the order I made on 15 November 2013, I found that L had capacity to decide about residence and care and I made orders under the inherent jurisdiction regulating what contact there should be between L and his father, as I considered him to be a vulnerable adult, he needed orders being made to ensure he retained his capacity... There is no evidence that L's capacity has changed."
11/11/16 (5): Case citations. In a development which may enthuse some more than others, I have at last written an extension which: (1) overcomes a software limitation which previously meant that all citations contained round brackets (square brackets are used in citations if the year is needed to identify the case or article, which is true for all neutral citation numbers); and (2) checks BAILII each time a neutral citation number appears on MHLO and automatically adds a BAILII link if the judgment is available there (links appear in blue text: the automatic external links have dotted underlining, normal external links have solid underlining, and internal links to other MHLO pages are not underlined). You can see an example of the extension at work on the R (Lee-Hirons) v SSJ  UKSC 46,  MHLO 38 page. See Help page for further details.
11/11/16 (3): Upper Tribunal case.JD v West London Mental Health NHS Trust  UKUT 496 (AAC),  MHLO 46 — "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?'"
11/11/16 (2): Upper Tribunal guardianship case.GW v Gloucestershire County Council  UKUT 499 (AAC),  MHLO 45 — "This appeal is brought with the permission of the First-tier Tribunal against the decision of that tribunal refusing to discharge the patient from guardianship. She was first received into guardianship on 8 January 2013 and the Court of Protection first made a Standard Authorisation on 14 February 2015. The essence of the case before both the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal is that the former was no longer necessary in view of the latter."