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Mental Health Law Online

The internet resource on mental health law, and mental capacity law, for England & Wales. You can read a review of the site here.

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Recent updates

  • 15/09/20: Mental capacity law newsletter. 39 Essex Chambers, 'Mental Capacity Report' (issue 107, September 2020) — "Highlights this month include: (1) In the Health, Welfare and Deprivation of Liberty Report: updated MCA/DoLS guidance, the anorexia Catch-22, and two important cases on deprivation of liberty; (2) In the Property and Affairs Report: remote witnessing of wills, professional deputy remuneration and the OPG annual report; (3) In the Practice and Procedure Report: CoP statistics, short notes on relevant procedural points and the UN principles on access to justice for persons with disabilities; (4) In the Wider Context Report: the NICE quality standard on decision-making and capacity, litigation friends in different contexts, and a guest piece giving a perspective on living with a tracheostomy and a ventilator; (5) In the Scotland Report: the human rights blind spot in thinking about discharge from hospital in the context of COVID-19.
  • 03/09/20: Case (Remote pre-hearing examinations are practicable). Re C [2020] MHLO 48 (FTT)(1) A salaried tribunal judge initially refused to allow a pre-hearing examination (PHE) because the coronavirus Pilot Practice Direction states: "During the Covid-19 pandemic it will not be 'practicable' under rule 34 of the 2008 Rules for any PHE examinations to take place, due to the health risk such examinations present." (2) Having treated the rule 46 application for permission to appeal as a rule 6 challenge, a different salaried tribunal judge decided that: (a) the practice direction is subordinate to the rules and overriding objective; (b) in video-enabled hearings with a full panel a PHE is practicable by that means; (c) hearings and PHEs should be conducted remotely as, even if the hospital would allow access, the tribunal will not put its members at risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus; (d) in this case, the PHE would take place by video link on the morning of the hearing. [First-tier Tribunal decisions are not binding.]

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