Mental health case law

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Case law - by subject matter(17 categories)
Anonymisation cases(4 pages)
Capacity and DOL(19 categories)
Classification(2 categories)
Community care and after-care(3 categories)
Criminal law cases(10 categories)
Disability discrimination(19 pages)
Inquests(31 pages)
Mental Health Tribunals(15 categories)
Ministry of Justice(29 pages)
Miscellaneous(210 pages)
Nearest relative cases(3 categories, 2 pages)
Odds and sods(2 categories)
Repatriation cases(77 pages)
SRA decisions(12 pages)
Welfare benefits cases(11 pages)


Case law - by jurisdiction(4 categories, 1 pages)
The mental health cases on this site are structured into categories and (where appropriate) sub-categories:
  • To browse through categories and cases, click on the ▼ and ► symbols as appropriate.
  • To view summaries of all cases within a category, click on the category name.
  • To view a particular case, click on the case name (which will be listed under the relevant category).

Mental Health Law Online currently contains 1999 categorised cases. These are in the process of being moved to a new database structure... 165 done and 1834 to do...

If you have been involved in a case not listed here, or have a transcript that is not yet on Bailii, then please get in touch. See Help page for contact details.

Recently-added cases

The following are the most recently-added 2019 cases:

Case and summary Date added Categories
Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v TG [2019] EWCOP 21 — "I am being asked to take today an irreversible decision that will lead inevitably to death sooner rather than later and probably within minutes or seconds of the tube being removed. I am being asked to do so in the face of what I find are the wishes and feelings of TG. ... I have come to the clear decision that it is in the patient's best interests that intubation should continue. I recognise that this places a huge burden on the treating team. It is against their advice and their wishes and of course also those of Dr Newman but I remind myself constantly, this is her life and her wishes as I have found them to be and nobody else's. It may be that if the position were to remain the same in six months' time or no successful tracheostomy had been carried out that different considerations might apply but I am not looking at the future, I am looking at things as they are now and for those reasons I reach my decision and refuse the application." 2019‑07‑08 22:29:31 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment missing from Bailii, Medical treatment cases


R v Fisher [2019] EWCA Crim 1066Having summarised the Sentencing Council's Definitive Guideline for Manslaughter (in force 1/11/18) and the relevant available disposals under the MHA, the Court of Appeal revoked sentences of imprisonment and replaced the life sentence with a s37/41 restricted hospital order. 2019‑07‑04 22:52:10 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment missing from Bailii, Life sentence cases


LV v UK 50718/16 [2019] MHLO 32 (ECHR)LV, a s47/49 patient, had argued that there had been a delay, in breach of Article 5(4), in securing her release, in particular because of the two-stage process involving both the Mental Health Tribunal and Parole Board. She accepted the government's offer of £2,500 in settlement of her claim. 2019‑06‑17 13:00:24 2019 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty


London Borough of Tower Hamlets v NB [2019] EWCOP 17 — "There is also evidence that indicates that NB very much enjoys the status of marriage, is affectionate to her husband [AU] and, on occasion, initiates sexual relations. This appears consistent with Ms Wilson's observations as long ago as 1996. The primary issue before the Court is whether NB truly has the capacity to consent to sexual relations. ... Unfortunately, the case attracted a great deal of media coverage, this notwithstanding that no argument had been heard and no Judgment delivered. A great deal of the comment was sententious and, in some instances, irresponsible. It is considered, by the Official Solicitor and the applicant Local Authority, that the impact of that publicity frightened AU very considerably, leading him to believe that he was likely to be sent to prison. He has left the party's flat and disengaged with these proceedings. ... [Mr Bagchi for the OS] submits it is a 'general' or 'issue-specific' test rather than a partner-specific one. If Mr Bagchi is correct, the difficulty that presents in this case is that there is only one individual with whom it is really contemplated that NB is likely to have a sexual relationship i.e. her husband of 27 years. It seems entirely artificial therefore to be assessing her capacity in general terms when the reality is entirely specific. ... As I said on the last occasion, these issues are integral to the couple's basic human rights. There is a crucial social, ethical and moral principle in focus. It is important that the relevant test is not framed in such a restrictive way that it serves to discriminate against those with disabilities, in particular those with low intelligence or border line capacity. ... Mr Bagchi has accepted that if a person-specific test were applied here then the outcome, in terms of assessment of NB's capacity may be different. ... I do not necessarily consider that the applicable test in the Court of Protection necessarily excludes the 'person specific approach'. I am reserving my Judgment ..." 2019‑05‑15 22:02:33 2019 cases, Capacity to consent to sexual relations, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii


R (Maguire) v HM's Senior Coroner for Blackpool and Fylde [2019] EWHC 1232 (Admin) — "First, the claimant contends that the defendant erred in law by determining at the end of the evidence that article 2 no longer applied under Parkinson, thereby prejudging a matter that should have been left to the jury. Secondly, the Coroner erred in law by determining that the jury should not be directed to consider whether neglect should form part of their conclusion. ... That the case law has extended the positive duty beyond the criminal justice context in Osman is not in doubt. The reach of the duty, beyond what Lord Dyson called the "paradigm example" of detention, is less easy to define. We have reached the conclusion, however, that the touchstone for state responsibility has remained constant: it is whether the circumstances of the case are such as to call a state to account: Rabone, para 19, citing Powell. In the absence of either systemic dysfunction arising from a regulatory failure or a relevant assumption of responsibility in a particular case, the state will not be held accountable under article 2. ... We agree that a person who lacks capacity to make certain decisions about his or her best interests - and who is therefore subject to DOLS under the 2005 Act - does not automatically fall to be treated in the same way as Lord Dyson's paradigm example. In our judgment, each case will turn on its facts. ... [The Coroner] properly directed himself as to the appropriate test to apply to the issue of neglect and having done so declined to leave the issue to the jury." 2019‑05‑15 21:35:39 2019 cases, Cases, Inquests, Judgment available on Bailii


University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHSFT v J [2019] EWCOP 16 — "[Anne] is the subject of an application brought by the [Trust] for declarations that it is in Anne's best interests to undergo a hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and a colonoscopy, and that, in order to enable those to be undertaken, it is in her best interests for a transfer plan to be implemented which will involve her sedation and a level of deception to ensure her presence at hospital for the procedures to be undertaken. The application arises because it is said that Anne lacks capacity. ... It is entirely right that cases such as this, where medical decisions and the plan for their implementation impact so profoundly on P's personal autonomy, bodily integrity and reproductive rights, should be considered by the Court of Protection at High Court level, and as this case demonstrates, once in the hands of the court and the Official Solicitor they can be dealt with rapidly. I therefore have no hesitation in declaring that it is in Anne's best interests to undergo HBSO and colonoscopy (and associated surgical procedures) and for the care plan to be implemented in its final amended form." 2019‑05‑10 21:41:37 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Medical treatment cases


TB v KB [2019] EWCOP 14 — "Law applicable to the court's determination of the question of whether P lacks capacity to conduct proceedings is well settled. ... Having regard to that analysis, I am clear that P does lack that capacity. This leaves the question of P's participation in these proceedings." 2019‑05‑09 12:28:53 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Litigation capacity cases


Re BGO: Office of the Public Guardian v PGO [2019] EWCOP 13 — "Some time later one of the financial institutions to which the registered property and affairs LPA was sent noticed that BGO’s signature on the instrument had been witnessed by one of the attorneys (MAB), which is contrary to the requirements of Regulations. ... The Public Guardian applied to the Court for a determination as to whether or not the requirements for creation of an LPA were met, and directions as to whether the Public Guardian should cancel the registration of the instrument. ... The wording of paragraph 18 of Schedule 1 is mandatory. Because the requirements of execution have not been met, I must direct the Public Guardian to cancel the registration of BGO’s LPAs. ... For many donors, the failure of their LPA because of a defect in execution can be overcome by the relatively simple step of granting fresh powers, taking care to ensure that the requirements are met – an irritation perhaps and an expense but not an insurmountable hurdle. However, that option is not open to BGO. Sadly, before this defect was identified, BGO’s capacity had deteriorated to the point where she is unable to execute fresh LPAs. ... In the absence of attorneys to manage her property and affairs, the Court may appoint a deputy or deputies. ... In respect of health and welfare, the Court may also appoint a deputy or deputies if considered appropriate, although it does so much more rarely. However, pursuant to section 20(5) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, a deputy cannot be given powers to refuse consent to the carrying out or continuation of life-sustaining treatment. In her welfare instrument, BGO had ticked the box to confirm that she wanted to give her attorneys this power. On the failure of her LPA, there is no means for the Court to give effect to her wishes in this respect. ... The Respondents are invited to make an application for appointment as property and affairs deputies for BGO. ... If the Respondents, or any of them, seek the appointment of a welfare deputy or deputies for BGO, they should also file at Court within 28 days a COP24 statement which sets out any welfare issues which require decisions to be made, why (having regard to s5 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005) an order is needed and why (having regard to section 16(4) of the Act) the decisions should be taken by a deputy rather than the Court." 2019‑04‑25 22:04:21 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, LPA cases - all, LPA cases - other


Hounslow Clinical Commissioning Group v RW [2019] EWCOP 12 — "This is an application brought by the Hounslow Clinical Commissioning Group concerning RW a 78-year-old man, suffering from vascular dementia. ... I would very much have liked to have been able to endorse a plan which permitted RW to return home. There is no doubt at all, as the history of this case shows, that RW would want to die at home. I do not know whether he would survive the transition but I should have been prepared to take that risk. However, PT would, in my judgement, continue to try to give his father food and water. As I speak these words he indicates to me that this is precisely what he would do. I have been told by Ms I that, at this stage, if PT were to attempt to feed his father there is a real risk that he would asphyxiate on any food given. I cannot permit RW to be exposed to the risk of ending his life in this way and, if I may say so, I would not be prepared to take that risk for PT either, especially having regard to all the loving care he has provided for his father. I endorse the applicant's plan. I indicate that it is in RW's best interest to have his sons with him as much as possible. I am not prepared to be prescriptive of the times and the circumstances in which the sons may visit. In this I reject the applicant's proposals in this respect." 2019‑04‑19 22:50:27 2019 cases, Best interests, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii


NKR v The Thomson Snell And Passmore Trust Corporation Ltd [2019] EWCOP 15 — "The application before the Court is for the discharge of the appointment of an existing professional property and affairs deputy, and the appointment of another instead. The discharge of the current deputy is agreed but there is an issue as to who should be appointed instead. ... In the matter of Re AS; SH v LC [2012] MHLO 113 (COP), [2013] COPLR 29 at paragraph 22 Senior Judge Lush set out "generally speaking" an order for preference of various candidates for appointment as deputy. A panel deputy is included "as deputy of last resort," after "a professional adviser, such as the family's solicitor or accountant." ... I am not aware of any previous appointments of a barrister as professional deputy (as distinct from a family member who just happens to be a barrister by profession but is appointed on the usual non-remunerated basis of a family member). Not being considered by the Bar Council as 'a legal service', discharge of the functions of deputyship is apparently not subject to the Bar Council's full regulatory force. However, the risk of property and affairs deputyship lies chiefly in misappropriation of funds. It seems to me beyond debate that misappropriation of MBR's funds whilst acting as deputy would count as "behaviour which diminishes trust and confidence" in Ms. Sood individually and her profession generally, and so Ms. Sood's holding of deputyship appointment would be subject to some professional regulation. ... On the information presently available to me, I am willing to accept that Ms. Sood is personally and professionally a suitable person to hold a deputyship appointment. Her appointment is however not the only option before the Court. A panel deputy has also been identified as willing to act ... Taking all matters into consideration, I conclude that it is in the best interests of MBR for Mr. Kambli to be appointed as replacement deputy upon discharge of the appointment of TSPTC." 2019‑04‑18 22:29:35 2019 cases, Cases, Deputyship cases, Judgment available on Bailii

More...


The following are the 10 most recently-added cases to the new database structure (from any year):

Case and summary Date added Categories
Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v TG [2019] EWCOP 21 — "I am being asked to take today an irreversible decision that will lead inevitably to death sooner rather than later and probably within minutes or seconds of the tube being removed. I am being asked to do so in the face of what I find are the wishes and feelings of TG. ... I have come to the clear decision that it is in the patient's best interests that intubation should continue. I recognise that this places a huge burden on the treating team. It is against their advice and their wishes and of course also those of Dr Newman but I remind myself constantly, this is her life and her wishes as I have found them to be and nobody else's. It may be that if the position were to remain the same in six months' time or no successful tracheostomy had been carried out that different considerations might apply but I am not looking at the future, I am looking at things as they are now and for those reasons I reach my decision and refuse the application." 2019‑07‑08 22:29:31 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment missing from Bailii, Medical treatment cases


R v Fisher [2019] EWCA Crim 1066Having summarised the Sentencing Council's Definitive Guideline for Manslaughter (in force 1/11/18) and the relevant available disposals under the MHA, the Court of Appeal revoked sentences of imprisonment and replaced the life sentence with a s37/41 restricted hospital order. 2019‑07‑04 22:52:10 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment missing from Bailii, Life sentence cases


LV v UK 50718/16 [2019] MHLO 32 (ECHR)LV, a s47/49 patient, had argued that there had been a delay, in breach of Article 5(4), in securing her release, in particular because of the two-stage process involving both the Mental Health Tribunal and Parole Board. She accepted the government's offer of £2,500 in settlement of her claim. 2019‑06‑17 13:00:24 2019 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty


London Borough of Tower Hamlets v NB [2019] EWCOP 17 — "There is also evidence that indicates that NB very much enjoys the status of marriage, is affectionate to her husband [AU] and, on occasion, initiates sexual relations. This appears consistent with Ms Wilson's observations as long ago as 1996. The primary issue before the Court is whether NB truly has the capacity to consent to sexual relations. ... Unfortunately, the case attracted a great deal of media coverage, this notwithstanding that no argument had been heard and no Judgment delivered. A great deal of the comment was sententious and, in some instances, irresponsible. It is considered, by the Official Solicitor and the applicant Local Authority, that the impact of that publicity frightened AU very considerably, leading him to believe that he was likely to be sent to prison. He has left the party's flat and disengaged with these proceedings. ... [Mr Bagchi for the OS] submits it is a 'general' or 'issue-specific' test rather than a partner-specific one. If Mr Bagchi is correct, the difficulty that presents in this case is that there is only one individual with whom it is really contemplated that NB is likely to have a sexual relationship i.e. her husband of 27 years. It seems entirely artificial therefore to be assessing her capacity in general terms when the reality is entirely specific. ... As I said on the last occasion, these issues are integral to the couple's basic human rights. There is a crucial social, ethical and moral principle in focus. It is important that the relevant test is not framed in such a restrictive way that it serves to discriminate against those with disabilities, in particular those with low intelligence or border line capacity. ... Mr Bagchi has accepted that if a person-specific test were applied here then the outcome, in terms of assessment of NB's capacity may be different. ... I do not necessarily consider that the applicable test in the Court of Protection necessarily excludes the 'person specific approach'. I am reserving my Judgment ..." 2019‑05‑15 22:02:33 2019 cases, Capacity to consent to sexual relations, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii


R (Maguire) v HM's Senior Coroner for Blackpool and Fylde [2019] EWHC 1232 (Admin) — "First, the claimant contends that the defendant erred in law by determining at the end of the evidence that article 2 no longer applied under Parkinson, thereby prejudging a matter that should have been left to the jury. Secondly, the Coroner erred in law by determining that the jury should not be directed to consider whether neglect should form part of their conclusion. ... That the case law has extended the positive duty beyond the criminal justice context in Osman is not in doubt. The reach of the duty, beyond what Lord Dyson called the "paradigm example" of detention, is less easy to define. We have reached the conclusion, however, that the touchstone for state responsibility has remained constant: it is whether the circumstances of the case are such as to call a state to account: Rabone, para 19, citing Powell. In the absence of either systemic dysfunction arising from a regulatory failure or a relevant assumption of responsibility in a particular case, the state will not be held accountable under article 2. ... We agree that a person who lacks capacity to make certain decisions about his or her best interests - and who is therefore subject to DOLS under the 2005 Act - does not automatically fall to be treated in the same way as Lord Dyson's paradigm example. In our judgment, each case will turn on its facts. ... [The Coroner] properly directed himself as to the appropriate test to apply to the issue of neglect and having done so declined to leave the issue to the jury." 2019‑05‑15 21:35:39 2019 cases, Cases, Inquests, Judgment available on Bailii


University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHSFT v J [2019] EWCOP 16 — "[Anne] is the subject of an application brought by the [Trust] for declarations that it is in Anne's best interests to undergo a hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and a colonoscopy, and that, in order to enable those to be undertaken, it is in her best interests for a transfer plan to be implemented which will involve her sedation and a level of deception to ensure her presence at hospital for the procedures to be undertaken. The application arises because it is said that Anne lacks capacity. ... It is entirely right that cases such as this, where medical decisions and the plan for their implementation impact so profoundly on P's personal autonomy, bodily integrity and reproductive rights, should be considered by the Court of Protection at High Court level, and as this case demonstrates, once in the hands of the court and the Official Solicitor they can be dealt with rapidly. I therefore have no hesitation in declaring that it is in Anne's best interests to undergo HBSO and colonoscopy (and associated surgical procedures) and for the care plan to be implemented in its final amended form." 2019‑05‑10 21:41:37 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Medical treatment cases


TB v KB [2019] EWCOP 14 — "Law applicable to the court's determination of the question of whether P lacks capacity to conduct proceedings is well settled. ... Having regard to that analysis, I am clear that P does lack that capacity. This leaves the question of P's participation in these proceedings." 2019‑05‑09 12:28:53 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Litigation capacity cases


R v SSHD, ex p Leech (No 2) [1993] EWCA Civ 12 — "Section 47 (1) of the Prison Act 1952 empowers the Secretary of State to make rules for the regulation and management of prisons. Rule 33 (3) of the Prison Rules 1964 provides as follows: "(3) Except as provided by these Rules, every letter or communication to or from a prisoner may be read or examined by the governor or an officer deputed by him, and the governor may, at his discretion, stop any letter or communication on the ground that its contents are objectionable or that it is of inordinate length." The principal question arising on this appeal is whether Rule 33 (3) is ultra vires section 47 (1) of the Act on the ground that it permits the reading and stopping of confidential letters between a prisoner and a solicitor on wider grounds than merely to ascertain whether they are in truth bona fide communications between a solicitor and client." 2019‑05‑03 13:13:45 1993 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Prison law cases


R v SSHD, ex p Leech (No 2) [1993] EWCA Civ 12 — "Section 47 (1) of the Prison Act 1952 empowers the Secretary of State to make rules for the regulation and management of prisons. Rule 33 (3) of the Prison Rules 1964 provides as follows: "(3) Except as provided by these Rules, every letter or communication to or from a prisoner may be read or examined by the governor or an officer deputed by him, and the governor may, at his discretion, stop any letter or communication on the ground that its contents are objectionable or that it is of inordinate length." The principal question arising on this appeal is whether Rule 33 (3) is ultra vires section 47 (1) of the Act on the ground that it permits the reading and stopping of confidential letters between a prisoner and a solicitor on wider grounds than merely to ascertain whether they are in truth bona fide communications between a solicitor and client." 2019‑05‑03 13:13:45 1993 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Prison law cases


R v Spencer [1987] UKHL 2Six nurses appealed against convictions for ill-treating a patient contrary to s126 Mental Health Act 1959 (the old equivalent of MHA 1983 s127), three successfully. 2019‑05‑02 13:38:27 1986 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Other criminal law cases

More...


Other recently-added cases:

Page and summaryDate added to siteCategories
Djaba v West London Mental Health NHS Trust [2018] MHLO 76 (SC)2019-05-152018 cases, Cases, Judgment available on MHLO, Powers, Transcript, Upper Tribunal decisions
R (LV) v SSJ [2012] EWHC 3899 (Admin)2019-03-232012 cases, Cases, Judgment available on MHLO, Judgment missing from Bailii, Prison law cases, Transcript
A Local Authority v BF [2018] EWCA Civ 29622019-01-222018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, Inherent jurisdiction cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript
LW v Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust [2018] UKUT 408 (AAC)2019-01-112018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript, Upper Tribunal decisions
Lord Chancellor v Blavo and Co Solictors Ltd [2018] EWHC 3556 (QB)2019-01-012018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Miscellaneous, Transcript
John Blavo v Law Society [2018] EWCA Civ 22502019-01-012018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, ICLR summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Miscellaneous, Transcript
R (CXF) v Central Bedfordshire Council [2018] EWCA Civ 28522018-12-202018 cases, After-care, Brief summary, Cases, ICLR summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript
Re AB (Inherent Jurisdiction: Deprivation of Liberty) [2018] EWHC 3103 (Fam)2018-12-192018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, Deprivation of liberty, ICLR summary, Inherent jurisdiction cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Transcript
Welsh Ministers v PJ [2018] UKSC 662018-12-172018 cases, Brief summary, Cases, Deprivation of liberty, Judgment available on Bailii, Powers, Transcript
EXB v FDZ [2018] EWHC 3456 (QB)2018-12-142018 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, No summary, Other capacity cases, Transcript

External links

The following are the main sources of case transcripts/information:

See also: