July 2017 chronology
See July 2017 update for a thematic summary of these changes.
- 31/07/17 (3): MHT Practice Guidance. Practice Guidance: Enforcement Procedure, Directions and Summonses (24/7/17) — This document contains the following headings: (1) The Responsible Authority’s duty to provide its written evidence within 3 weeks; (2) The Responsible Authority’s duty to cooperate with the tribunal, and provide the full identity and secure contact details of its statement and report writers; (3) The Responsible Authority’s duty to arrange for the attendance of witnesses; (4) The Legal Representative’s Duties; (5) What will the tribunal do to enforce compliance? (6) The MH5 direction to a named person to immediately provide written evidence; (7) Failure to comply with a personal MH5 Direction to give written evidence; (8) Summonses.
- 21/07/17 (2): Welsh Tribunal forms. New forms and guidance documents were created, and translated into Welsh, in April and May 2017 — MHRTW-01: Application to the tribunal; MHRTW-02: Nearest Relative Application; MHRTW-03: Attendance Form; MHRTW-04: Expenses claim - witness; MHRTW-05: Permission for Appeal Application Form; MHRTW-06: Guidance - Applying to the Tribunal; MHRTW-07: Guidance - Referrals; MHRTW-08: Guidance - The Tribunal Hearing; MHRTW-09: Guidance - Nearest Relative Information; MHRTW-10: Guidance - Provision of Reports to the Tribunal; MHRTW-11: Guidance - Report Layout and Content; MHRTW-12: Guidance - Expenses claim - Witness; MHRTW-13: Guidance - The Tribunal’s Powers; MHRTW-14: Guidance - Permission for Appeal; MHRTW-15: Publications Register; MHRTW-16: List of words; MHRTW-17: Eligibility Criteria; MHRTW-18: Request to Withdraw application; MHRTW-18A: Guidance - Request to Withdraw application. See Tribunal forms
- 21/07/17 (1): RadcliffesLeBrasseur: Annual Mental Health Conference - London, 5/10/17 — Speakers: Simon Burrows (Mental health case law and DoLS update), Mat Kinton (The key issues that keep attracting the attention of CQC at MHA inspections), Andrew Parsons (CQC regulatory powers), Simon Cheverst (Consent and the psychiatric patient: treatment, covert medication and the law) and Paul Spencer (What is likely to trouble a coroner at an inquest into the death of a psychiatric patient?). Time: 9.15am - 3.30pm. Price: £96 inc VAT. See RadcliffesLeBrasseur website for further details and booking information.
- 11/07/17 (1): Article 3 immigration case. BA v SSHD (2017) UKAITUR IA343212013 — "The Appellant is a citizen of Nigeria born on 26th February 1980. His appeal against a refusal to vary leave was allowed by First-tier Tribunal Judge Abebrese on Article 8 grounds on 23 rd May 2016. ... The Appellant sought permission to appeal against the Article 3 findings only ... On the basis of the factual findings, the opinion in the Amnesty International Report and the opinion of Dr Bell, the Appellant is likely to suffer a breakdown at some point on return to Nigeria whether that be at the airport or some time later. He is likely to come to the attention of the police if he has such a breakdown and he would not be able to access the psychiatric hospital in Lagos because he is unable to afford treatment there. Accordingly, it is likely that he would be held in prison where the conditions for this particular Appellant with his particular condition would result in treatment in breach of Article 3. ... The Applicant would not be at risk of Article 3 treatment because of a heightened risk of suicide. He would, however, be at risk of inhuman and degrading treatment in breach of Article 3 because of the conditions of return. ... The medical evidence indicates that the Appellant is vulnerable to relapse even in the UK and without the threat of removal. His removal to Nigeria is likely to trigger a relapse and his behaviour will draw hostile attention. His treatment by the authorities in detaining him under the Lunacy Act 1958 would amount to inhuman and degrading treatment. There is a reasonable degree of likelihood that he would be detained in a prison, there would be no treatment for his mental health, his situation would deteriorate, the length of detention is indeterminate, there is no right of appeal and there is no requirement for him to consent to treatment. Accordingly, I allow the Appellant's appeal on Article 3 grounds."
- 08/07/17 (1): Appeal against life sentence. R v Kitchener  EWCA Crim 937 — "On 22 November 2002 at the Crown Court at Cardiff before the Recorder of Cardiff His Honour Judge Griffith-Williams QC the applicant, then aged 20, pleaded guilty to attempted murder contrary to s.1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981. On 2 December 2002, he was sentenced by the same judge to custody for life with a minimum term of 4 years and 8 months less 4 months on remand in custody. His applications for an extension of time of about 14 years, for leave to appeal against sentence and to call fresh psychiatric evidence have been referred to the full Court by the single judge. The basis for the application for leave to appeal against sentence is that the applicant contends that he should have been sentenced to a hospital order and a restriction order under sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act 1983 rather than to custody for life. The basis for the application for an extension of time is that the psychiatric report of Dr Sobia Khan dated 26 October 2015 was not available at the time of sentence. That report is said to satisfy the conditions for the admission of fresh evidence under section 23 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968. The admission of the report is said to be both necessary and expedient in the interests of justice."
- 05/04/17 (1): Job advert. ODonnells Solicitors, Preston - PA/admin assistant in MHT team. See Jobs
- 04/07/17 (3): Community care case summary. Andy McNicholl, 'Court quashes “unlawful” Care Act assessment of learning disabled man' (Community Care, 3/7/17) — This article summarises R (JF) v London Borough of Merton  EWHC 1519 (Admin).
- 04/07/17 (2): Needs assessment; accommodation change. R (JF) v London Borough of Merton  EWHC 1519 (Admin) — "The Claimant has the benefit of anonymity and will be referred to as JF. He has Autism Spectrum Disorder and severe learning difficulties. As a result, he requires adult residential care with specialist support. ... The Claimant relies upon two grounds of review, contending that: (i) LBM failed to undertake a lawful assessment of his needs in breach of statutory duties under the Care Act 2014 and associated Regulations, namely the Care and Support (Assessment) Regulations 2014 SI 2827, and the Care and Support (Choice of Accommodation) Regulations 2014 SI 2670. (ii) LBM has unlawfully decided to change or to propose to change his accommodation from the David Lewis College in Cheshire, where he has resided since 2012 to Aspen Lodge in Sussex, a residence run by Sussex Health Care. The Claimant contends that LBM has based its decision to prefer the Lodge unlawfully and predominantly upon a Pre-Admission Assessment dated 26 February 2016 and prepared by the Lodge. That document contains the conclusion that the Lodge is suitable and can adequately meet JF's needs. The Claimant alleges that it is an inadequate basis for moving him from his current accommodation."
- 04/07/17 (1): Debra Whittle, 'Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request -112074' (letter to Lucy Series, 19/6/17). This FOI response includes the following information. Time from receipt to disposal: section 2 (0 weeks 24.5%, 1 week 53.0%, 2 weeks 18.2%, 4 or more weeks 1.9%); restricted (0-3 weeks 8.0%, 4-9 weeks 15.4%, 10-15 weeks 59.6%, 16-18 weeks 5.1%, 19 or more 11.9%); non-restricted (0-3 weeks 22.1%, 4-7 weeks 47.9%, 8-9 weeks 17.5%, 10-12 weeks 6.5%, 13 or more weeks 6.1%). Total number of cases: section 2 (10,617); restricted (3,449); unrestricted (21,065). Median age of case: section 2 (1 week); restricted (10-15 weeks); non-restricted (4-7 weeks). See Mental Health Tribunal#Listing of hearings
- 03/07/17 (5): MHLA: Advocacy, Risk and Cross-examination - Leicester, 16/10/17 — This one-day course is designed to enhance advocacy and case preparation skills. The focus is on preparing for advocacy, with advice on cross-examination of the medical witnesses and taking evidence-in-chief from the client, along with formulation and delivery of effective submissions. Price: £150 (MHLA members); £195 (non-members). See MHLA website for further details and booking information.
- 03/07/17 (4): MHLA: Re-accreditation course - London, 4/10/17 — This course will be suitable for those seeking re-accreditation (by reviewing the legal and procedural developments of the last three years; providing a forum for discussing these along with the re-accreditation process; fulfilling the requirement to obtain six mental health CPD points for re-accreditation). It will also be of interest to anyone wishing to further their knowledge of mental health law and practice. Price: £150 (MHLA members); £195 (non-members). See MHLA website for further details and booking information
- 03/07/17 (3): MHLA: Re-accreditation course - Manchester, 27/9/17 — This course will be suitable for those seeking re-accreditation (by reviewing the legal and procedural developments of the last three years; providing a forum for discussing these along with the re-accreditation process; fulfilling the requirement to obtain six mental health CPD points for re-accreditation). It will also be of interest to anyone wishing to further their knowledge of mental health law and practice. Price: £150 (MHLA members); £195 (non-members). See MHLA website for further details and booking information
- 03/07/17 (2): MHLA: Foundation course - London, 30/8/17 — This course is aimed at new practitioners and those intending to attend the panel course in the near future. Attendance at the foundation course is strongly recommended in order to achieve a sound understanding of the basic principles of mental health law, practice and procedure and in order to achieve the most from the two-day panel course, which is a pre-requisite for application to the Law Society’s mental health panel. Price: £150 (MHLA members); £195 (non-members). See MHLA website for further details and booking information
- 03/07/17 (1): MHLA: Foundation course - Manchester, 23/8/17 — This course is aimed at new practitioners and those intending to attend the panel course in the near future. Attendance at the foundation course is strongly recommended in order to achieve a sound understanding of the basic principles of mental health law, practice and procedure and in order to achieve the most from the two-day panel course, which is a pre-requisite for application to the Law Society’s mental health panel. Price: £150 (MHLA members); £195 (non-members). See MHLA website for further details and booking information
- 02/07/17 (2): ECHR and tribunal criteria. Djaba v West London Mental Health NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 436 — "[T]he appeal is concerned with the narrow issue whether the statutory tests within ss. 72, 73 and 145 of the Mental Health Act 1983 require a 'proportionality assessment' to be conducted, pursuant to articles 5 and/or 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Human Rights Act 1998, taking into account the conditions of the appellant's detention. ... The position established by these cases is that, where the question whether the detention complies with the European Convention on Human Rights is not expressly within the powers of the tribunals but can be heard in other proceedings, section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998 does not require the powers of the tribunals to be interpreted by reference to the Convention to give them the powers to consider Convention-compliance as well. The same principle applies here too. In this case, the appellant must apply for judicial review to the Administrative Court if he considers that the conditions of his detention are disproportionate and do not comply with the Convention. That Court is able to carry out a sufficient review on the merits to meet the requirements of the Convention."