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Bernard v SW London and St George's MH NHS Trust [2013] UKUT 58 (AAC), [2013] MHLO 26

The medical member, questioning the RC, had stated 'I have no issues with the nature; it is chronic, relapsing, etcetera' but he had not formed a preconceived and concluded view (actual bias) or expressed himself in such a way as to give rise to a reasonable apprehension that he had (apparent bias).


The summary below has been supplied by Kris Gledhill, Editor of the Mental Health Law Reports. The full report can be purchased from Southside Online Publishing (if there is a "file not found" error, it means this particular report is not yet available online). More similar case summaries from the year 2014 are available here: MHLR 2014.

Whether natural justice was breached by the medical member expressing a concluded view on an element of the test for detention at an early stage of proceedings - GB v SW London & St George’s MH NHS Trust and others – [2014] MHLR 8

Points Arising: A natural justice challenge has to be assessed in all the circumstances.

Facts and Outcome: The Upper Tribunal found that a fair-minded and informed observer would have decided that the Tribunal medical member’s comment during questioning the Responsible Clinician that the medical member had “no issue with nature” as it was “chronic and relapsing” was not a concluded view but was exploring the evidence at an early stage of the proceedings and before the independent expert evidence which put the question of the nature of the disorder into issue had been heard. As such, there was no real possibility of bias.

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