June 2017 update


  • Magic Book. The Magic Book is a database of contact details. It is a new addition to MHLO - but it can be expanded and be a success if everybody joins in, including you. 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

  • Scottish smoking ban. McCann v State Hospitals Board for Scotland [2017] UKSC 31 — "This is a challenge by application for judicial review to the legality of the comprehensive ban on smoking at the State Hospital at Carstairs which the State Hospitals Board for Scotland adopted by a decision taken at a meeting on 25 August 2011 and implemented on 5 December 2011. The appellant, Mr McCann, does not challenge the ban on smoking indoors. His challenge relates only to the ban on smoking in the grounds of the State Hospital and on home visits, which, by creating a comprehensive ban, prevents detained patients from smoking anywhere. ... Mr McCann raises three principal issues in his challenge. First, he argues that the impugned decision is invalid at common law on the ground of ultra vires because, when so deciding, it did not adhere to the principles laid down in section 1 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 (which I set out in para 22 below) or comply with the requirements of subordinate legislation made under the 2003 Act. Secondly, he submits that the impugned decision was unlawful because it unjustifiably interfered with his private life and thereby infringed his right to respect for his private life under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Thirdly, founding on article 14 of ECHR in combination with article 8, he argues that the Board, by implementing the comprehensive smoking ban, has treated him in a discriminatory manner which cannot be objectively justified when compared with (i) people detained in prison, (ii) patients in other hospitals (whether detained or not) or (iii) members of the public who remain at liberty. ... [T]he prohibition on having tobacco products and the related powers to search and confiscate are in my view illegal and fall to be annulled. ... [B]ut for the illegality under our domestic law of the prohibition of possession of tobacco products, the searches and the confiscation of tobacco products which are part of the impugned decision, I would have held that the decision was not contrary to Mr McCann’s article 8 right to respect for his private life. ... The article 14 challenge ... fails."
  • Choice of representative. R (Brady) v Lord Chancellor [2017] EWHC 410 (Admin) — To obtain Legal Aid funding, a representative must have a contract under LASPO 2012 covering mental health law, and there is no ECHR right to publicly-funded representation for a lawyer of choice. "In this case, Ian Stewart Brady applies for permission to bring a claim for judicial review of two decisions relating to his legal representation in proceedings before the First-Tier Tribunal (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber) Mental Health. The Claimant wishes to be represented at those proceedings by a solicitor, Mr Robin Makin, and is seeking public funding for that representation. The decisions challenged are: (1) The decision of the Lord Chancellor dated 3 November 2016, the First Defendant, effectively not to make available or facilitate the public funding of Mr Makin as the Claimant's solicitor in the Proceedings. (2) The decision of the Tribunal, the Second Defendant, dated 4 October 2016 declining to appoint Mr Makin as the Claimant's legal representative under Rule 11(7)(a) of the Tribunal Procedure (First-Tier Tribunal) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber) Rules 2008."

Legal Aid Agency

  • Legal Aid Agency, 'Tribunal appointed representatives in mental health (rule 11(7) cases)' (8/6/17). This is guidance which has been provided to LAA auditors. In its summary section it states that: (1) No work on a client's case should be started before an application for legal aid has been made and properly signed. (2) The provider should in general always seek to visit the client to see if he has capacity and is willing to apply for legal aid himself (subject to bullets 6 and 7 below). (3) If the client lacks capacity then any person can make the application for legal aid on his behalf. That individual does not otherwise have to be involved in the case. (4) If the client lacks capacity or is unwilling/unable to sign the application form (and it is not appropriate for a third party to apply on his behalf) the provider can sign the application form in accordance with paragraph 9.40 of the contract specification. (5) In all Rule 11(7) cases, we expect to see the authority from the tribunal appointing the firm/individual on the file (usually an email). (6) If it is clear from the outset of the case that client lacks capacity or will be unwilling to sign the application form then the provider does not necessarily need to visit the client to see if he is unable/willing to apply. (7) In these circumstances, the provider should justify on file why he has not made any such attempts (e.g. the client clearly lacks capacity and/or has informed staff that he does not wish to see a solicitor). See Legal Aid#Guidance documents


  • HMCTS, 'Guidance for the conduct of cases before the restricted patient panel' (updated 29/3/16). This document sets out the responsibilities of the MoJ and MHT in the Tribunal procedure. For instance, the protocol provides that no MoJ comments are required in the following circumstances: (1) for initial reports, the MoJ have had the reports for 21 days; (2) for subsequent reports, including addendum and independent reports, the MoJ have received the reports at all.. See Ministry of Justice#MOJ/MHT Protocol

Court of Protection User Group

  • Court of Protection User Group. (1) Minutes of Court User Group Meeting (12/10/16); (2) Carolyn Hilder, 'Court User Group' (notification of 26/4/17 meeting, 29/3/17); (3) Minutes of Court User Group Meeting (26/4/17). The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 11/10/17 at 2pm at First Avenue House. See Court of Protection User Group.

Ministry of Justice

  • NOMS and NHS England, 'Working with personality disordered offenders: A practitioners guide' (second edition, September 2015). Link to this 2015 document added. This replaced the January 2011 version. See Ministry of Justice#Personality disorder


  • Queen's Speech 2017. (1) Queen's Speech 2017 (21/6/17); (2) Cabinet Office, 'Queen's Speech 2017: background briefing notes' (21/6/17). See Mental Health Treatment Bill 2017
  • Delayed discharges (request for case studies). Mind are looking into potential legal reform in relation to delayed discharges from hospital, and request that people send case studies of patients who have remained in hospital for a number of months owing to delays in arranging aftercare packages (e.g. s117 packages, social care or community psychiatric provision). Please forward any case studies to m.henson-webb@mind.org.uk by the end of June 2017. See Mind (Charity)


  • Edge Training: Best Interests Assessors Report Writing Course - London, 30/10/17No results
  • Edge Training: DOLS Authorised Signatories - Sheffield, 3/11/17No results



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