R (G) v South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust  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:  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 Computer‑Aided Transcript of the Stenograph Notes of WordWave International Limited A Merrill Communications Company 165 Fleet Street London EC4A 2DY Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 0207 404 1424 (Official Shorthand Writers to the Court) 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.