Consultation on paper hearings for CTO reference cases
The Tribunal Procedure Committee is consulting on changes to the rules so that the Tribunal may (1) make a decision on a reference under s68 (duty of managers to refer cases to tribunal) without a hearing if the patient is a community patient and has consented to this; and (2) strike out a party's case without a hearing. The purpose is to save money. The rationale given for the first proposal is that community patients are often content with their position and do not want to attend the hearing or medical examination; that if the patient does not attend then full reports often mean there is little point having a hearing; and that hearings place an unnecessary burden on community patients, who are likely to be quite capable of making the necessary decisions and are entitled to IMHAs and Legal Aid. It is anticipated that all community patients would be posted a form inviting them to consent to their case being decided without a hearing. In relation to the second proposal, it is intended that the power would be used when it is obvious that the tribunal lacks jurisdiction. Consultation runs from 1/6/11 to 23/8/11.
Tribunal Procedure Committee, 'Response to consultation on proposed amendments to the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber) Rules 2008 (SI 2008/2699) (1 June 2011 – 29 August 2011)' (February 2012)