August 2018 update

Website

  • Magic Book. The Magic Book is a database of contact details. The main idea is to add the hospitals and other places you visit (not just your own place of work). To create/edit contacts, there is no need to log in and the process is very quick and simple. See Magic Book
  • Mental Health Law Online CPD scheme: 12 points for £60. Obtain 12 CPD points online by answering monthly questionnaires. The scheme is an ideal way to obtain your necessary hours, or to evidence your continued competence. It also helps to support the continued development of this website, and your subscriptions (and re-subscriptions) are appreciated. For full details and to subscribe, see CPD scheme.

Case law

  • MHT capacity case. VS v St Andrew's Healthcare [2018] UKUT 250 (AAC) — (1) The capacity that a patient must have in order to make a valid MHT application is that the patient must understand that he is being detained against his wishes and that the First-tier Tribunal is a body that will be able to decide whether he should be released. This is a lower threshold than the capacity to conduct proceedings. (2) (Obiter) a solicitor appointed under rule 11(7)(b) can request to withdraw an application in the best interests of the patient, but on the facts the tribunal had been entitled to give effect to the patient's own desire to come before a tribunal. (3) When a tribunal lacks jurisdiction it should strike out the proceedings but (obiter) if the proceedings were fair then the use of withdrawal rather than strike out is unlikely to be a material error of law.
  • Medical case. Y v A Healthcare NHS Trust [2018] EWCOP 18 — "This application was made by Y on 12 July 2018 when I was sitting as the emergency applications judge. It required urgent determination by reason of the critical medical condition of Z, Y's husband. Y sought the following relief: (a) A declaration that, notwithstanding her husband's incapacity and his inability to consent, it was lawful and in his best interests for his sperm to be retrieved and stored prior to his death; (b) An order pursuant to section 16 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 directing that a suitable person should sign the relevant consent form for the storage of Z's sperm on her husband's behalf."
  • Criminal appeal case. R v Taj [2018] EWCA Crim 1743 — (1) Appeal against conviction: "The defence sought to rely on self-defence as codified in s76 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 noting, in particular, s76(4)(b) which makes it clear that the defence is available even if the defendant is mistaken as to the circumstances as he genuinely believed them to be whether or not the mistake was a reasonable one for him to have made. Although s76(5) provides that a defendant is not entitled to rely upon any mistaken belief attributable to intoxication that was voluntarily induced, it was argued that as there was no suggestion that Taj had alcohol or drugs present in his system at the time, he was not 'intoxicated' and so was not deprived of the defence. It was also submitted that R v McGee, R v Harris, R v Coley [2013] EWCA Crim 223 supported the proposition that to be in a state of 'voluntarily intoxication' there had to be alcohol or drugs active in the system at the time of the offence. ... In our view, the words "attributable to intoxication" in s. 76(5) are broad enough to encompass both (a) a mistaken state of mind as a result of being drunk or intoxicated at the time and (b) a mistaken state of mind immediately and proximately consequent upon earlier drink or drug-taking, so that even though the person concerned is not drunk or intoxicated at the time, the short-term effects can be shown to have triggered subsequent episodes of e.g. paranoia. This is consistent with common law principles. We repeat that this conclusion does not extend to long term mental illness precipitated (perhaps over a considerable period) by alcohol or drug misuse. In the circumstances, we agree with Judge Dodgson, that the phrase "attributable to intoxication" is not confined to cases in which alcohol or drugs are still present in a defendant's system. It is unnecessary for us to consider whether this analysis affects the decision in Harris: it is sufficient to underline that the potential significance of voluntary intoxication in the two cases differs." The appeal against conviction was dismissed. (2) The application for leave to appeal against sentence was refused.
  • Children/DOL case. Re A-F (Children) (No 2) [2018] EWHC 2129 (Fam) — "The purpose of the hearing, as it developed, was to deal with four matters: (i) A review of any relevant developments since the previous hearing in August 2017. (ii) The making of final orders. (iii) In that context, consideration of the implications of the fact that two of the children with whom I am concerned either have had or will, during the currency of the final order, if granted, have their sixteenth birthday. (iv) The formulation, if possible, of standard forms of order for use in such cases."

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