Difference between revisions of "Coronavirus resources"

(MHRT for Wales)
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*[https://crimeline.co.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation/ Crimeline, 'Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance']. Aimed at criminal lawyers.
*[https://crimeline.co.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation/ Crimeline, 'Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance']. Aimed at criminal lawyers.
*[http://www.transparencyproject.org.uk/covid-19-and-family-courts-links-in-one-place-to-new-arrangements/ Transparency Project, 'COVID-19 and family courts: Links in one place to new arrangements']. Aimed at family (and COP) lawyers.
*[http://www.transparencyproject.org.uk/covid-19-and-family-courts-links-in-one-place-to-new-arrangements/ Transparency Project, 'COVID-19 and family courts: Links in one place to new arrangements']. Aimed at family (and COP) lawyers.
*[https://www.lag.org.uk/?id=207755 Legal Action Group, 'Updates on the COVID-19 crisis' (25/3/20)]

Revision as of 22:53, 25 March 2020

There are two main coronavirus pages on Mental Health Law Online:

  1. This page, which contains guidance about the guidance.
  2. The Coronavirus resources database page, which contains links to and summaries of all Coronavirus resources on our database - currently there are 55.

During the emergency period, which initially runs for 3 weeks from 26/3/20, no person may leave the place where he is living without reasonable excuse. The English and Welsh regulations set out non-exhaustive lists of reasonable excuses, such as obtaining basic necessities, seeking medical assistance, and travelling to work if it is not reasonably possible to work from home. The police and other relevant authorities have been given enforcement powers. Government advice includes to stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

Newer resources

As of 25/3/20, all resouces in the database were categorised and listed under the heading "Resources" in this summary page. If any documents are added to the database after that date they will automatically appear in a list immediately below:


For lawyers

  • LAA coronavirus guidance. Legal Aid Agency, 'Coronavirus (COVID-19): Legal Aid Agency contingency response' (18/3/20) — This guidance, which will be continuously updated, has information under the following headings: (1) Our contingency plans; (2) Coronavirus health advice; (3) Financial support; (4) Our proportionate approach to contract management; (5) Reducing administrative activity for providers; (6) Office requirements; (7) Applications other than in person; (8) Assessing financial eligibility where a client cannot attend; (9) Duty solicitor absence; (10) Crime Telephone advice; (11) Stay up to date. The 24/3/20 version states: "In situations where it is not possible to get a client signature, digitally or otherwise, please make a note on the file explaining why, countersigned by a supervisor, and also make a note on the application/form when submitted to avoid delays or issues with processing. Please seek a signature at the earliest possible opportunity." The 27/3/20 version states: "Most Mental Health Tribunal (MHT) hearings will now be heard remotely. We can confirm the MHT Level 3 Fee will be payable where representation is carried out at a remote hearing intended to dispose of a case and would have ordinarily taken place in person." The 27/3/20 version (in relation to situations where a client's signature cannot be obtained) states: "For avoidance of doubt, supervisor signatures may also be provided digitally to enable effective remote supervision, as long as they are clearly related to the relevant file notes."
  • Law Society, 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and updates' (19/3/20)
  • Bar Council, 'Coronavirus advice and updates' (March 2020, updated periodically)

For those who work with the Mental Health Tribunal

  • The following MHT-related documents are also listed separately in the relevant part of the Tribunal Rules page.
  • MHT coronavirus telecon procedure. Tribunals Judiciary, 'Guidance from the Chamber President and Deputy Chamber President of HESC regarding the Mental Health jurisdiction' (Coronavirus, 19/3/20) — The following procedure will apply to hearings from Monday 23/3/20: (1) section 2 and conditional discharge recall hearings will be prioritised; (2) no pre-hearing examinations will take place; (3) new cases will be listed as a telephone conference before a single judge; (4) the judge can seek advice by telephone from that day's allocated medical or lay member, then repeat that advice in the telecon and allow submissions; (5) it is suggested that an unrepresented patient be allowed to speak to the judge without others in the room; (6) it is suggested that the decision is not announced. (See the document for full details.)
  • Mental Health Tribunal coronavirus Practice Direction. Pilot Practice Direction: Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) (Coronavirus, 19/3/20) — For the pilot period, initially six months: (1) every decision, including those that dispose of proceedings, will be made by a judge alone, unless the CP, DCP or authorised salaried judge appoints two or three people; (2) the tribunal will suggest that CTO reference hearings are dealt with on the papers under rule 35; (3) it will not be "practicable" under rule 34 for any pre-hearing medical examinations to take place during the pandemic (no mention is made of video or telephone conferencing); (4) panels of one of two may seek the advice of one or more non-legal members to assist in decision-making, provided the advice is recoded and disclosed to the parties.
  • Tribunal coronavirus Practice Direction. Pilot Practice Direction: Contingency Arrangements in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (Coronavirus, 19/3/20) — During the pilot period, initially six months: (1) decisions should usually be made without a hearing where the rules permit [MHT: rule 35 limits this to Part 5 and strike-out decisions, and certain CTO referrals]; (2) in jurisdictions where a hearing is required unless the parties consent to a determination on the papers [MHT: certain CTO referral cases] Chamber Presidents may allow a paper "triage" scheme in which provisional decisions are provided in cases in which a successful outcome for the applicant/appellant is likely; (3) all hearings should be held remotely where it is reasonably practicable and in accordance with the overriding objective [MHT: rule 1 states that hearings may be "conducted in whole or in part by video link, telephone or other means of instantaneous two-way electronic communication"]; (4) where permitted, hearings will proceed in the absence of parties who have not made an adjournment/postponement application [MHT: a requirement of rule 39 is that the patient has decided not to attend or is unable to attend for reasons of ill health]; (5) tribunals will take into account the impact of the pandemic when considering applications for extension of time for compliance with directions or the postponement of hearings. [Notes in square brackets are not part of the PD itself.]
  • Pilot Practice Direction: Panel Composition in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (Coronavirus, 19/3/20) - General guidance but not for mental health cases
  • Mental Health Tribunal, 'Update on coronavirus situation' (18/3/20) - Older guidance for when oral hearings were still being listed

For those working with the Court of Protection

MHT for Scotland

MHRT for Wales

  • Nothing has been published (as of 25/3/20) but it understood that hearings are being postponed or being held remotely. As in England, the Welsh tribunal rules allow for hearings by video link or telephone, and pre-hearing medical examinations "so far as practicable". Unlike in England, a rule change would be needed to allow for disposal of proceedings without a hearing, and primary legislation would be needed to change panel composition (as Welsh tribunal composition is set out in MHA 1983 sched 2).

Parole Board, family and civil courts

Jury trials

Courts and tribunals generally

Coronavirus Bill

For health and social care professionals



In addition to the resources concerning the Coronavirus Bill above, here is some relevant legislation:

External links

These are general advice pages so do not have their own page in the MHLO resources database.

The following web pages/sites are updated regularly: