Amended Pilot Practice Direction: Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) (18/3/21)
Mental Health Tribunal coronavirus Practice Direction This extends Amended Pilot Practice Direction: Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) (Coronavirus, 14/9/20) with amendments to 18/9/21. The non-trivial amendments are: (1) A new heading "Disposal of proceedings on the papers" stating "5. The tribunal shall observe the requirements of rule 5A and rule 35 in cases where an application is made for determination on the papers." (maybe this relates to the misuse of that rule by the MHT in uncontested reference cases); (2) New wording in relation to "Pre-hearing examinations: practicability": "7. For the duration of this Pilot Practice Direction: (a) A face-to-face pre-hearing examination may only take place if the Chamber President, the Deputy Chamber President or an authorised salaried judge directs that a face-to-face pre-hearing examination is practicable; (b) A remote pre-hearing examination may take place if any judge or tribunal directs that a remote pre-hearing examination is practicable. 8. When deciding whether conducting a pre-hearing examination is practicable under paragraph 7, judicial office holders should consider the overriding objective, any health and safety risks, any technological constraints, and the resources available to the Mental Health jurisdiction, as well as any other matters that they consider to be relevant." (3) A new heading "Pre-hearing examinations: section 2 cases": "9. Rule 34 requires that a pre-hearing examination must be carried out in section 2 cases, if practicable, unless the tribunal is satisfied that the patient does not want such an examination. 10. In a section 2 case, the patient (or their representative on their behalf) should be asked to indicate to the tribunal whether they want a pre-hearing examination. If the patient wants a pre-hearing examination, a decision should be made as to its practicability in accordance with paragraphs 7 and 8."