Mental health case law

Case law - by subject matter(18 categories)
Anonymisation cases(4 pages)
Capacity and DOL(21 categories)
Classification(2 categories)
Community care and after-care(3 categories)
Criminal law cases(10 categories)
Disability discrimination(19 pages)
Inquests(35 pages)
Medical records cases(4 pages)
Mental Health Tribunals(15 categories)
Ministry of Justice(29 pages)
Miscellaneous(215 pages)
Nearest relative cases(3 categories, 2 pages)
Odds and sods(2 categories)
Repatriation cases(80 pages)
SRA decisions(12 pages)
Welfare benefits cases(11 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 2085 categorised cases. These are in the process of being moved to a new database structure... 259 done and 1826 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: The new database structure introduced in 2019 is more useful than this Category page: see Special:Drilldown/Cases.The pages below are initially ordered according to the dates on which they were added to the site (most recent first). The order can be changed by clicking on the symbol beside a column heading: click on the symbol beside "Page and summary" for alphabetical order; click beside "Categories" for the order in which the cases were reported. Click on the arrow symbol again to reverse the order. Click on a page name to view the relevant page. Asterisks mark those cases which have been added to the new database structure.

Case and summary Date added Categories
* Habitual residence Re QD [2019] EWCOP 56QD, who had dementia, was living in Spain with his second wife when adult children from his first marriage flew him to England by stealth. The children unsuccessfully argued that: (a) he was now habitually resident in England, so the MCA applied in the usual way; (b) removal was justified under the common law doctrine of necessity; (c) jurisdiction was established on grounds of urgency; (d) even if QD were habitually resident in Spain, orders could be made under the inherent jurisdiction. The judge therefore made a protective measures order under sch 3 MCA 2005 pending a determination by the national authorities in Spain on what should happen next. 2020‑07‑08 14:10:31 2019 cases, Cases, Foreign protective measure cases, Judgment available on Bailii


* Foreign representative powers Re GED [2019] EWCOP 52"[T]hree broad issues have been identified: (1) Is a foreign power of attorney capable of constituting a ‘protective measure’? (2) Is there a capacity threshold to the Court’s jurisdiction? (3) Where there is a valid and operable foreign power of attorney in place, is the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection under section 16 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 limited?" 2020‑06‑20 20:55:08 2019 cases, Cases, Foreign protective measure cases, Judgment available on Bailii


* Disclosure of documents Re Z [2019] EWCOP 55"This is an application by JK, who is a son of Z, for the disclosure to him of certain documents which have been filed by the other parties in the course of these proceedings and prior to the making of the [court's] order." 2020‑06‑20 20:39:52 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Other capacity cases


* Secure accommodation and inherent jurisdiction A City Council v LS [2019] EWHC 1384 (Fam)"Does the High Court have power under its inherent jurisdiction, upon the application of a local authority, to authorise the placement in secure accommodation of a 17 year old child who is not looked after by that local authority within the meaning of s 22(1) of the Children Act 1989, whose parent objects to that course of action, but who is demonstrably at grave risk of serious, and possibly fatal harm. I am satisfied that the answer is 'no'." 2020‑04‑02 15:08:26 2019 cases, Cases, ICLR summary, Inherent jurisdiction cases, Judgment available on Bailii


* Complaint not upheld by LGSCO Bassetlaw CCG (19 006 727a) and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (19 006 727b) [2019] MHLO 67 (LGSCO)LGSCO summary: "The Ombudsmen found no fault by the Council, Trust or CCG with regards to the care and support they provided to a woman with mental health problems. The Ombudsmen did find fault with a risk assessment the Trust completed. However, we are satisfied this did not have a significant impact on the care the Trust provided." 2020‑04‑02 13:59:26 2019 cases, Cases, LGO decisions


* Carer's assessment failures Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (18 018 548a) [2019] MHLO 66 (LGSCO)LGSCO summary: "The Ombudsmen have upheld Mrs G’s complaint about the way her carer’s assessments were carried out. We have not found fault with the way the Trust, Council and CCG arranged Mr H’s accommodation under s117 of the Mental Health Act or how the Trust communicated with Mrs G and Mr H about this." 2020‑04‑02 13:45:20 2019 cases, Cases, LGO decisions


* (1) Overlap between different decisions; (2) Sex B v A Local Authority [2019] EWCA Civ 913(1) "The important questions on these appeals are as to the factors relevant to making the determinations of capacity which are under challenge and as to the approach to assessment of capacity when the absence of capacity to make a particular decision would conflict with a conclusion that there is capacity to make some other decision." (2) The Court of Appeal also decided on what is necessary to have capacity to consent to sexual relations. 2020‑04‑02 13:29:07 2019 cases, Capacity to consent to sexual relations, Cases, ICLR summary, Judgment available on Bailii


* Lay advocates in public law family proceedings Re C (Lay Advocates) [2019] EWHC 3738 (Fam)"In my judgment that there is no material difference between the services provided by an interpreter, an intermediary or a lay advocate insofar as they each enable and support parties and witnesses to communicate and understand these proceedings. HMCTS routinely pay for the services of interpreters and intermediaries, I cannot see any principled reason why it should not also pay for the services of lay advocates in an appropriate case. ... Accordingly, I will appoint a lay advocate for the mother and a lay advocate for the father. They cost £30 per hour which I consider to be entirely reasonable. I have assessed the likely number of hours of work on this for the lay advocates to be 50 hours." 2020‑03‑13 22:08:53 2019 cases, Cases, ICLR summary, Judgment available on Bailii, Miscellaneous


* Force feeding under s63 MHA 1983 JK v A Local Health Board [2019] EWHC 67 (Fam)"In my view his refusal to contemplate any alternative paths, and his rigid belief that refusing to eat is his only way forward, is a consequence of his autism and as such falls within s.63. The proposed force feeding is therefore certainly capable of being treatment for the manifestation of his mental disorder. However, that does not mean that I by any means accept that force feeding JK would be in his best interests, or critically would be "treatment" that falls within the definition in s.145(4) of the MHA, as being "to alleviate or prevent a worsening of the disorder…". It is apparent that force feeding is a highly intrusive process, which involves sedating the patient whilst the naso-gastric tube is inserted and potentially having to restrain the patient for fairly prolonged periods. This process would be extremely upsetting for any patient, but for JK with his ASD and his aversion to eating in front of other people, the process would be even more traumatic. JK said in oral evidence that he viewed the possibility as abhorrent, and it was clear from that response how incredibly upsetting for all concerned having to go through that process would be. If it came to that stage close consideration would necessarily have to be given to the terms of article 3 ECHR and the caselaw such as Herczegfalvy v Austria [1993] 15 EHRR 437 and the test of medical necessity." 2020‑03‑13 11:40:52 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Medical treatment cases


* Charitable status of foundation trusts Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v Derby City Council [2019] EWHC 3436 (Ch)Seventeen NHS foundation trusts argued that, as foundation trusts, they were entitled under s43(5) Local Government Finance Act 1988 to the four-fifths reduction in non-domestic rates because they were charities and the relevant properties were wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. The High Court answered the preliminary question "Whether the Lead Claimant is a charity for the purposes of section 43(6) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988?" in the negative. 2020‑03‑04 22:11:56 2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Miscellaneous

More...


The following are the 10 most recently-added cases to the new database structure (from any year): The new database structure introduced in 2019 is more useful than this Category page: see Special:Drilldown/Cases.The pages below are initially ordered according to the dates on which they were added to the site (most recent first). The order can be changed by clicking on the symbol beside a column heading: click on the symbol beside "Page and summary" for alphabetical order; click beside "Categories" for the order in which the cases were reported. Click on the arrow symbol again to reverse the order. Click on a page name to view the relevant page. Asterisks mark those cases which have been added to the new database structure.

Case and summary Date added Categories
* Insanity legislation and foreign criminals SSHD v MZ [2020] UKUT 225 (IAC)A person sentenced to a hospital order following a finding under CPIA 1964 s5(1)(b) that he "is under a disability and that he did the act or made the omission charged against him" is not subject to s117C Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ("Article 8: additional considerations in cases involving foreign criminals") or paragraphs A398-399 (also concerning deportation of foreign criminals) of the Immigration Rules. 2020‑07‑20 22:39:33 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Repatriation cases


* Restricted hospital order instead of life sentence R v Cleland [2020] EWCA Crim 906Life sentence with 7-year minimum term quashed and substituted with s37/41 restricted hospital order. 2020‑07‑20 22:26:00 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Sentence appeal cases


* Sexual relations and contact with husband Re SF [2020] EWCOP 15(1) SF lacked capacity in relation to some areas (litigation, care, residence, finances, tenancy, contact with strangers and people who are unfamiliar) but did have capacity to consent to sexual relations and to decide on contact with her husband. The psychiatric evidence was that SF would only have episodic memory ("memory for the personally experienced events of a person’s life, with retention of the details of time and situation in which they were acquired") in relation to contact with strangers, but would have semantic memory ("knowledge which is retained irrespective of the circumstances in which it was acquired [deriving] from the 'feeling' around the memory rather than the 'facts' surrounding the memory") in relation to her husband. (2) The court authorised the deprivation of liberty which existed both when living at her home and (on an interim basis until authorised by the placement) when receiving respite care at a residential supported care provision. 2020‑07‑18 20:31:17 2020 cases, Capacity to consent to sexual relations, Cases, Deprivation of liberty, Judgment available on Bailii


* Capacity to make tribunal application SM v Livewell Southwest CIC [2020] UKUT 191 (AAC)(1) This majority decision confirmed that the test for capacity to make a tribunal application stated in the VS case was correct (that the patient must understand that she is being detained against her wishes and that the First-tier Tribunal is a body that will be able to decide whether she should be released). (2) In a dissenting judgment Sarah Johnston DCP stated that the test should be: "Does the patient want to be free to leave?" (3) The Upper Tribunal decided (again by a majority) that tribunal panel had not erred in striking out the patient's case, and gave detailed procedural guidance, including on when the hospital managers, IMHA, or the tribunal itself should request the making of a reference. 2020‑07‑10 23:49:01 2020 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, MHT capacity cases, Upper Tribunal decisions


* Habitual residence Re QD (No.2) [2020] EWCOP 14A legal deadlock had arisen: (a) the English court did not have primary jurisdiction, as QD was habitually resident in Spain; (b) the Spanish court would not exercise its jurisdiction unless QD were in Spain; (c) there was no obligation to return QD there. The coronavirus travel bans meant an "urgent" decision under MCA 2005 sch 3 that he be returned could not be made, so the decision was adjourned for 3-4 months. 2020‑07‑08 14:46:59 2020 cases, Cases, Foreign protective measure cases, Judgment available on Bailii


* Habitual residence Re QD [2019] EWCOP 56QD, who had dementia, was living in Spain with his second wife when adult children from his first marriage flew him to England by stealth. The children unsuccessfully argued that: (a) he was now habitually resident in England, so the MCA applied in the usual way; (b) removal was justified under the common law doctrine of necessity; (c) jurisdiction was established on grounds of urgency; (d) even if QD were habitually resident in Spain, orders could be made under the inherent jurisdiction. The judge therefore made a protective measures order under sch 3 MCA 2005 pending a determination by the national authorities in Spain on what should happen next. 2020‑07‑08 14:10:31 2019 cases, Cases, Foreign protective measure cases, Judgment available on Bailii


* Capacity - DOL Sunderland City Council v AS [2020] EWCOP 13(1) The court decided that a CTO patient lacked capacity in all relevant areas (litigation, residence, care and contact). When giving oral evidence the jointly-instructed psychologist changed her mind on: litigation capacity (initially she thought AS had litigation capacity while not having subject matter capacity), residence (she placed insufficient weight on 'structure and routine', which is an integral part of the information relevant to a decision on residence in supported as opposed to independent living), and fluctuating capacity. The judge noted with approval the approach in NICE guidance on "Decision-making and mental capacity" to people with executive dysfunction. (2) The court authorised the deprivation of liberty (there was a high level of supervision throughout the day and night, in the accommodation and community). 2020‑07‑07 16:47:31 2020 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty, Judgment available on Bailii, Litigation capacity cases, Other capacity cases


* Recognition of foreign protective measure Health Service Executive of Ireland v Moorgate [2020] EWCOP 12(1) The necessary criteria were met for the recognition and enforcement of protective measures contained in an order made by the Southern Irish High Court which authorised the patient's transfer from a London hospital to a specialist hospital in Leeds. (2) An appendix entitled "Domestic regimes applicable to SM and those in her position" contains the following headings: (a) Application of the MHA; (b) Hospital admission under the MHA; (c) Treatment under the MHA; (d) Representation and support; (e) Challenging detention; (f) Removal of alien patients; (g) Mental Capacity Act 2005 (excluding the provisions of Schedule 3); (h) Inherent jurisdiction of the High Court; (i) Comparison of protections under MHA and under Schedule 3. 2020‑07‑06 14:28:45 2020 cases, Cases, Foreign protective measure cases, Judgment available on Bailii


* Treatment despite religious delusions Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v C [2020] EWCOP 10(1) Having previously undergone two hysteroscopies, and initially consented to removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes, C disengaged, expressed religious views (such as that only God could cure her cancer), and was assessed as lacking capacity. The judge decided that "she clearly lacked capacity and her rejection of the treatment, which is clinically so manifestly in her best interests, is predicated on a delusional belief structure which manifests itself in the language of religion". (2) The delay in this case, which was attributable to the treating clinicians not initially knowing C had paranoid schizophrenia, and their reluctance to contemplate coercion, should not have happened and likely stressed C and her family, but had not led to neglect of the cancer. 2020‑07‑06 13:47:32 2020 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Medical treatment cases


* Deputies and litigation Re ACC [2020] EWCOP 9This case concerned whether, and in what circumstances, a property and affairs deputy can recover from the protected person’s assets costs which have been or are likely to be incurred in legal proceedings. The applicant deputies from Irwin Mitchell wanted to know when a professional deputy may instruct a legal firm with which it is associated and recover the costs from P. The court gave detailed guidance, including a summary of conclusions in an appendix. 2020‑07‑03 22:27:38 2020 cases, Cases, Deputyship cases, Judgment available on Bailii

More...


Other recently-added cases:

Page and summaryDate added to siteCategories
MC v Cygnet Behavioural Health Ltd [2020] UKUT 230 (AAC)2020-07-242020 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty, Discharge conditions, Judgment available on MHLO, Judgment missing from Bailii, Transcript, Upper Tribunal decisions
AD'A v Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust [2020] UKUT 110 (AAC)2020-04-122020 cases, Cases, Change of status after application made, Judgment available on MHLO, Judgment missing from Bailii, Transcript, Upper Tribunal decisions
PM v Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust [2020] UKUT 69 (AAC)2020-04-012020 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Judgment available on MHLO, Powers, Transcript, Upper Tribunal decisions
SB v South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust [2020] UKUT 33 (AAC)2020-02-062020 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Judgment available on MHLO, MHT capacity cases, Mind summary, Powers, Transcript, Upper Tribunal decisions
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 Foundation 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

External links

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

See also: