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  • 21/101/4 (4): Job advert. ODonnells Solicitors in Preston are seeking to recruit a mental health and mental capacity fee earner. Closing date for applications is 14/11/14. See Job adverts
  • 16/10/14 (1): Deprivation of liberty case. Re X (Deprivation of Liberty) (No 2) (2014) EWCOP 37, (2014) MHLO 98 — "I need now to supplement and elaborate what I said in my previous judgment in relation to Questions (7), (9) and (16). For ease of reference I set out those questions again: '(7) Does P need to be joined to any application to the court seeking authorisation of a deprivation of liberty in order to meet the requirements of Article 5(1) ECHR or Article 6 or both? (9) If so, should there be a requirement that P … must have a litigation friend (whether by reference to the requirements of Article 5 ECHR and/or by reference to the requirements of Article 6 ECHR)? (16) If P or the detained resident requires a litigation friend, then: (a) Can a litigation friend who does not otherwise have the right to conduct litigation or provide advocacy services provide those services, in other words without instructing legal representatives, by virtue of their acting as litigation friend and without being authorised by the court under the Legal Services Act 2007 to do either or both …?' These questions require consideration of a number of issues which I take in order, formulating each of these issues in the form of a question. ..."
  • 15/10/14 (2): Law Society accreditations scheme. The Law Society has updated the guidance document (the latest document at the time of writing is dated 26/9/14) and application form for prospective members of their mental health accreditation scheme. This is to reflect the fact that two new requirements have been in place since 1/9/14: (1) "All Applicants should have undertaken a substantial amount of mental health casework for a duration of at least six months within the 12 months prior to their application" and (2) "The Law Society expects all Mental Health Accreditation Scheme Applicants to provide full CPD records for one CPD year preceding submission of the application. Applicants should have gained at least six CPD hours in the year in the subject area of mental health, or related areas such as mental capacity, community care and human rights." See Law Society
  • 15/10/14 (1): Department of Health. From 10/10/14 the fax number for enquiries regarding the Secretary of State for Health's functions under the Mental Health Act is 0115 902 3211. See Department of Health
  • 10/10/14 (1): LPA case. Re JL (Revocation of LPA) (2014) EWCOP 36, (2014) MHLO 97 — "I am satisfied that (1) AS has behaved in a way that contravenes her authority and is not in JL's best interests, and (2) JL lacks capacity to revoke the LPA herself, and I shall revoke the LPA for her. With regard to the appointment of a deputy for property and affairs, I consider that it would be in JL's best interests to appoint the authorised officer for property and affairs deputyships of Essex County Council as her substantive deputy. He is already acting as her interim deputy by virtue of my order of 10 June 2014 and JL has expressed a preference that he should continue to manage her funds."
  • 09/10/14 (2): Event. The MHT Members Association Conference and AGM will be held on Friday 17/10/14 (9.30am to 5.00pm) in London. The speakers are: Baroness Hale (keynote speaker), Dr Rob Ferris (retired consultant forensic psychiatrist), Dr Callum Ross (consultant forensic psychiatrist), Georga Godwin (solicitor), Polly Shardlow (social worker), Cassie Watcyn-Jones (nurse), Donna Gilbert (service user). The conference will be chaired by Jacqui Briggs (tribunal judge). Price: £20 (legal, medical and associate members), £15 (specialist lay members), £100 (salaried tribunal judges). The conference is open to MHTMA members, and other members of the MHT may attend if they join the Association in advance. See booking form and AGM notice for further information. See Events
  • 09/10/14 (1): Medical case. An NHS Foundation Trust v Ms X (2014) EWHC 35 (COP), (2014) MHLO 96An NHS Foundation Trust sought declarations that: (a) it is not in Ms X's best interests to be subject to further compulsory detention and treatment of her anorexia nervosa, whether under the Mental Health Act 1983 or otherwise, notwithstanding that such treatment may prolong her life; (b) it is in her best interests, and shall be lawful, for her treating clinicians not to provide Ms X with nutrition and hydration with which she does not comply. The judge decided that X should not be compelled to have treatment for her anorexia, and made the declarations, but expressed the hope that she would realise the benefit of treatment.
  • 08/10/14 (5): Nominal damages case. Link to judgment fixed (case was already on MHLO). Bostridge v Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust (2014) EWCA Civ 1005, (2014) MHLO 85The judge had awarded only nominal damages because the patient had suffered no loss as a result of his unlawful detention. The Court of Appeal gave permission to appeal, stating as follows: "Mr Drabble submits that in approaching the matter as he did the judge fell into error because the decisions of the Supreme Court in Lumba and Kambadzi do not establish that only nominal damages follow where there was a complete absence of statutory authority for a detention. To the contrary, Mr Drabble argues, there is a distinction between an unlawful detention where there was no threshold power to detain and detention which is unlawful on other grounds despite there having been lawful authority to detain in the first place. Moreover, Mr Drabble continues, the Act reflects the particular importance of compliance with the procedural requirements for lawful detention and it is simply no answer to the appellant's claim to say that he could have been detained had the appropriate procedures been followed. What is more, says Mr Drabble, the appellant has lost the protection of the rights and procedures which Parliament has provided in the Act for vulnerable persons such as him. That, he says, is a real not a nominal loss. I have been persuaded that these are points which merit consideration by this court, both because an appeal would have a reasonable prospect of success and because the appeal raises a point of principle, namely the approach to be adopted where a person responsible for an unlawful detention was not in a position lawfully to detain the subject without ensuring that an important condition precedent had been fulfilled, the condition precedent being compliance with the safeguards contained in section 3 of the Act. Further, in the circumstances of this case, compliance with those safeguards was not a matter which lay wholly within the power of the respondent."
  • 08/10/14 (4): Recall case. Summary added (case was already on MHLO). R (Lee-Hirons) v SSJ (2014) EWCA Civ 553, (2014) MHLO 23(1) A restricted patient who had been recalled argued that the Secretary of State was under a duty to provide written (not merely oral) reasons for recall, that the oral reasons given were inadequate and were not the Secretary of State’s true reasons, and that therefore the recall and consequent detention was unlawful. (2) The Court of Appeal held that: (a) Article 5(1) does not require the reasons for detention to be given immediately upon detention; (b) a fortiori, it does not require those reasons to be given in writing; (c) Article 5(2) requires those reasons to be adequately and promptly given to him following detention; (d) on the facts, there had been a breach of the Secretary of State’s policy to provide reasons "as soon as possible and in any event within 72 hours" (HSG(93)20) and a breach of Article 5(2); (e) these breaches did not render unlawful what was originally a lawful recall. (3) The Court noted, in relation to the practice of the Secretary of State in relation to recall, that "It is now his practice to include in the warrant a brief reason for recall, and a reminder is given to the person executing the warrant to explain the reason at the time of execution."
  • 08/10/14 (3): The Mental Health Lawyers Association will be running their successful two-day course for membership of the Law Society's Mental Health Accreditation Scheme (formerly the MHRT panel) in London on Wednesday 12/11/14 and Thursday 13/11/14. New mental health lawyers are encouraged also to attend a foundation course on 31/10/14. Price: £300 (members); £390 (non-members); £250 (for third and subsequent members in a group). CPD: 12 SRA-accredited hours. See MHLA website for further details. See Events
  • 08/10/14 (2): The Mental Health Lawyers Association will be running a mental health law foundation course in London on Friday 31/10/14. The course is designed for new mental health lawyers and those about to attend the two-day panel course. Price: £120 (members), £175 (non-members). CPD: 6 SRA-accredited hours. See MHLA website for further details. See Events
  • 08/10/14 (1): Event. Edge Training are running 'The EDGE National AMHP Conference' on Friday 28/11/14 in London. Speakers are: Neil Allen (deprivation of liberty), Simon Foster (Care Act 2014), Lucy Mason (ss135 and 136), Nicky Guy (MHA Code of Practice), Christine Jones (s135), and delegates from the s136 MHA triage pilot in the Midlands. The conference will be chaired by Christine Hutchison. Price: £125 plus VAT. 10% discount for groups of 10 or more in one booking. See flyer for further information and booking details. See Events
* To help clear a backlog of updates, some news items will be added to the Updates page without being added anywhere else on the website (for now), and will be marked with asterisks.

Update archive