R (G) v South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust [2011] EWHC 747 (Admin)

The claimant sought judicial review of the NHS Trust and the Met police in relation to a proposed visit to his home. (1) A civil restraint order had been made after the JR application was made: so he did not need leave of the High Court to have the claim considered on the papers; however, he did need leave for this renewed application for permission. (2) On the merits, permission would have been refused because (a) it is not the function of the court to review operational decisions such as this, and (b) the claimant had not been detained so the points regarding the MHA were academic. (3) In any event, the civil restraint order was thoroughly appropriate and would not be discharged.

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Judgment (Crown Copyright)

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                                                                    CO/6402/2010



Neutral Citation Number: [2011] EWHC 747 (Admin)


IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE


QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION


THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT



                                                         Royal Courts of Justice




                                                                          Strand




                                                                 London WC2A 2LL




                                                          Thursday, 3 March 2011









                                  B e f o r e:




                           MR JUSTICE EDWARDS‑STUART




                                    Between:




                       THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF G




                                                                        Claimant




                                       v




                 SOUTH LONDON AND MAUDSLEY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST




                                                                       Defendant









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The Claimant appear in person


Mr Rajeev Shetty (instructed by DWF) appeared on behalf of the Defendant








                                J U D G M E N T




                           (As Approved by the Court)









                                Crown copyright©



1.     MR JUSTICE EDWARDS-STUART:  This is a renewed application for permission
to apply for judicial review.  Permission was refused on paper on 16 September
2010 by Lord Carlile of Berriew, who was sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High
Court.


2.     On 28 May 2010 the South London and Maudsley National Health Trust wrote
to the claimant, Dr G, to inform him that two members of their team would be
visiting him at home, accompanied by the police, on Tuesday 8 June at 12.30.
The letter said:


"It is important that we speak to you that day because we have received
information about the state of your flat and the concerns of your neighbours
about your mental health.  A doctor will be coming along to see you with us.  I
would like to inform you that if we fail to gain access to your flat and speak
to you on that date we will gain entry by making use of the legal system."


3.     To that letter, the claimant replied by e‑mail as follows on 2 June:


"Further to your letter of 28 May 2010, you have called me at least once in the
recent past claiming that the police have given you some information and wanting
to see me.  I have made it very clear to you that you must write to me and when
you write to me it must be by a senior officer with qualification or a senior
doctor.  I have also informed you that you must write to me in detail about what
the issues are you want to discuss and who gave you the information and to
disclose all other information you have about me.  You are writing to me without
any qualification, just as a social worker and without giving any information.
I do not accept this.  I must see all of this information before I can even
consider your letter."


4.     The reference in the last part of the quotation to the social worker was
to the fact that the letter from the Trust dated 28 May 2010 was signed by
Victoria Ahmadi(?), who described herself as a social worker.


5.     On 7 June, that is five days after the e‑mail to which I have just
referred, the claimant issued a claim form seeking judicial review, inviting the
court to review the decision to visit the claimant at his home on 8 June.  That
is the decision that led to the writing of the letter from which I have just
quoted.  The claimant also seeks a declaration of incompatibility of the Mental
Health Act 2007, with various Articles of the Human Rights Act, including
Articles 8, 7, 5, 3 and 1.


6.     The claim is made not only against the National Health Trust, but also
against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.  It is not at all clear that there
is any evidence that the police were involved in the decision to write the
letter of 28 May, and at the moment I am unable to see how there can be any
proper claim against them in the context of this particular application.  After
these proceedings were started, on 3 August last year this court made a civil
restraint order against the claimant.  That was made by Sweeney J, and the order
was that he should be restrained from issuing any claim or making any
application in, amongst other things, the High Court or any County Court,
without first obtaining, in effect, the leave of a High Court Judge.  Since that
was after he had lodged this application for judicial review, the claimant did
not need permission in order to have the claim considered on the papers, but he
does, in my judgment, need permission to make this renewed application for
permission to apply.  So I will have to consider that as implicit in the
application before me.


7.     As I have already mentioned, on 16 September the application was refused
on paper by Lord Carlile of Berriew QC.  He said as his reasons, first, that the
claim is entirely without merit and irrational; and second, in any event
judicial review is not the appropriate remedy for the claimant's complaints.


8.     On 24 September the claimant put in a notice of renewal of his claim for
permission to apply, and the grounds were set out as follows:


"1.  There is a conflict of interest for this judge to be a judge in this case
because the architects, researchers and practitioners of psychiatry are
predominant Jews, and this judge comes from that community.  Therefore there is
a serious bias.  The judge has become the judge in his own case.


2.  There is a pecuniary interest involving this judge, directly or indirectly,
for psychiatry is a monumental money making scam without any basis in science
and the beneficiaries are largely Jews, and this judge being from that community
is tainted with it.


3.  The Mental Health Act 2007 is bad law giving draconian and arbitrary powers
to all sorts of people to incarcerate large segments of people who are largely
from the working class, single mothers and minorities and their children.  It is
incompatible with the Convention rights and privileges.


4.  Public interest relates to the large segment of people above who are
incarcerated against their will in mental institutions, which has no scientific
evidence.  Some die of asphyxiation caused by the intervening local police who
use excessive force to overwhelm them in order to facilitate the administration
of noxious drug.  Serious crimes are being perpetrated."


9.     I have to say at once that I find the allegations in the first two
paragraphs of that notice quite deplorable and they should never have been made.
I cannot imagine for one moment that such notions ever crossed the mind of the
judge when he was refusing the application for permission on paper.


10.     Although the claimant has put in a very detailed skeleton argument, in
my view this claim for judicial review is misconceived.  Quite apart from
anything else, it is not the function of this court to review operational
decisions taken by professional staff of a National Health Service Trust in
relation to a question of whether or not to visit a particular member of the
public who is within its area.


11.     As to the declaration of incompatibility, the Mental Health Act is not
engaged in this case.  So far the claimant has not been detained by anyone under
any provision of the Mental Health Act.  What is really lying behind this is
that the claimant wants a platform to debate the question of whether there is a
scientific basis for psychiatry, and he says the platform that should be given
to him is in the form of these proceedings, if permission is given.


12.     I reject that suggestion emphatically.  As I have said, the claimant has
not yet, and may never be, detained under any provision of the Mental Health
Act, and in any event, were he to be detained for assessment under that Act, he
would have an immediate right of application to a Mental Health Tribunal, who
would have to hear that application within seven days.  So far as this
application is concerned, the Mental Health Act provisions are academic and are
not engaged.


13.     Therefore, I refuse this application for permission to apply for
judicial review on its merits.  But, in any event, I would not grant the
claimant permission to make the application by releasing him from the civil
restraint order in order to do so.  Indeed, the terms of the application for
permission that I have already read out show exactly why the restraint order was
made on 3 August, and why, in my view, it was thoroughly appropriate.


14.     For these reasons, this application is refused.


15.     MR SHETTY:  My Lord, I doubt if this court would entertain any
application for costs, and my instructing solicitors have not complied with the
case of Ewing in any event.


16.     MR JUSTICE EDWARDS-STUART:  I think, if I may say so, that is a sensible
approach.  Costs, as you know, on this sort of application are only granted in
exceptional cases, and whilst this may be exceptional in some respects, I do not
think it is exceptional in the sense required for a costs application.  So I am
not prepared to make any order as to costs.


17.     MR SHETTY:  I quite understand.


18.     CLAIMANT:  May I seek to appeal against the decision?  The CRO, may I
clarify this matter, I did take this to the Queen's Bench.  It was Nicola Davies
J who gave a ruling to me, and I do not have it here, that this case has already
been in operation and therefore it is not covered by the CRO.


19.     MR JUSTICE EDWARDS-STUART:  I dealt with that in my judgment.  I
explained that you had the right to seek permission on paper because that was
part and parcel of your application, but in order then to seek a renewed
application you actually have to make an application, and the order covers
applications as well, but it does not matter because I have only dealt with that
as a separate point.  I have refused you permission on the merits of the claim,
not because of the restraint order.


20.     CLAIMANT:  I would like to seek permission to appeal, sir.


21.     MR JUSTICE EDWARDS-STUART:  Permission to appeal from a refusal of
permission is not available from me.


22.     CLAIMANT:  In the Court of Appeal?  The CPR says ‑‑


23.     MR JUSTICE EDWARDS-STUART:  In that case, if you can go to the Court of
Appeal you are welcome to try, but I do not give you permission to go to the
Court of Appeal.