June 2020 update

This page is automatically generated: it will only be complete at the end of the month. All monthly updates are available here: Archive of monthly updates.


  • 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.
  • Cases. By the end of this month, Mental Health Law Online contained 2056 categorised cases


  • Case (Non-application of forfeiture rule). Re W [2020] UKUT 155 (AAC) — The forfeiture rule ("the rule of public policy which in certain circumstances precludes a person who has unlawfully killed another from acquiring a benefit in consequence of the killing") can be modified in the interests of justice but not following a conviction for murder. The Secretary of State initially argued that W had been convicted of murder. The Crown Court had found that, in relation to his wife's killing, W was unfit to plead but had done the act. The Upper Tribunal equated this with a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity, which for forfeiture rule purposes amounts to an acquittal, so there was no conviction and the forfeiture rule did not apply.
  • Case (Protected party - litigation friend). Hinduja v Hinduja [2020] EWHC 1533 (Ch) — (1) Medical evidence on capacity to conduct proceedings is not required under the CPR, and in this case to require it would not be necessary or in accordance with the overriding objective. The court decided that SP was a protected party. (2) The defendants argued that the proposed litigation friend failed both limbs of the relevant test (ability fairly and competently to conduct proceedings and having no adverse interest). Having considered the tests (including noting that "[w]hether the existence of a financial interest on the part of the litigation friend should debar [her] from acting will depend on the nature of the interest, and whether it is in fact adverse or whether it otherwise prevents the litigation friend conducting the proceedings fairly and competently on the protected party's behalf") the court made the appointment sought.
  • Case (Change from s3 to s37 during tribunal proceedings). GM v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust [2020] UKUT 152 (AAC) — The First-tier Tribunal had been right to strike out proceedings arising from a s3 reference when the patient was subsequently made subject to a s37 hospital order. It would be contrary to statutory policy if the tribunal were to retain jurisdiction under an application or reference that was made before the date of the hospital order.
  • Case (Foreign representative powers). Re GED [2019] EWCOP 52 — "[T]hree broad issues have been identified: (1) Is a foreign power of attorney capable of constituting a ‘protective measure’? (2) Is there a capacity threshold to the Court’s jurisdiction? (3) Where there is a valid and operable foreign power of attorney in place, is the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection under section 16 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 limited?"
  • Case (Disclosure of documents). Re Z [2019] EWCOP 55 — "This is an application by JK, who is a son of Z, for the disclosure to him of certain documents which have been filed by the other parties in the course of these proceedings and prior to the making of the [court's] order."
  • Case (Parole Board representation for those lacking capacity). R (EG) v Parole Board [2020] EWHC 1457 (Admin) — (1) The Parole Board Rules 2019 introduced a power to appoint a representative "where the prisoner lacks the capacity to appoint a representative and the panel chair or duty member believes that it is in the prisoner's best interests for the prisoner to be represented". In the absence of anything similar to the accreditation system operating in the MHT (and the LAA's pragmatic approach to the regulation preventing providers from making an application for Legal Aid) a solicitor cannot "assume the dual role of legal representative and litigation friend" and so this appointment power cannot be exercised. (2) The 2019 rules, although silent on the matter, allow for the appointment of a litigation friend because: (a) "other representative" in the expression "solicitor, barrister or other representative" includes litigation friend; and, if that is wrong, (b) as with the 2016 rules, it is allowed when necessary under the general power to make directions. (3) In the absence of an accreditation scheme or other litigation friend, the prisoner needed the Official Solicitor to act if his parole review was to progress; (obiter) the OS has the statutory power to act in Parole Board proceedings. (4) The judge limited her decision to issues concerning EG individually, and criticised counsel for EG and the EHRC for continuing the trend in public law litigation of grounds of challenge evolving during proceedings in a way which lacked procedural rigour (in this case, by raising wider issues including the identification and assessment of non-capacitous prisoners and the Public Sector Equality Duty).
  • Case (Capacity in family case). CS v FB [2020] EWHC 1474 (Fam) — The judge in this international children law case made an interim declaration that the mother lacked capacity to litigate, to enable the Official Solicitor to be appointed as litigation friend and, with the benefit of legal aid, to investigate for final determination the mother's capacity to conduct these proceedings.
  • Case (Inquest and DOLS). R (Maguire) v HM Senior Coroner for Blackpool and Fylde [2020] EWCA Civ 738 — "The issue for determination in this appeal is whether the circumstances surrounding the death of Jacqueline Maguire (known as Jackie) required the coroner to allow the jury at her inquest to return an expanded conclusion in accordance with section 5(2) of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. ... Jackie was subject to a standard authorisation granted by Blackpool Council pursuant to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards set out in Schedule A1 to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. ... Jackie's circumstances were not analogous with a psychiatric patient who is in hospital to guard against the risk of suicide. She was accommodated by United Response to provide a home in which she could be looked after by carers, because she was unable to look after herself and it was not possible for her to live with her family. She was not there for medical treatment. If she needed medical treatment it was sought, in the usual way, from the NHS. Her position would not have been different had she been able to continue to live with her family with social services input and been subject to an authorisation from the Court of Protection in respect of her deprivation of liberty whilst in their care."
  • Case (Capacity and sexual relations). A Local Authority v JB [2020] EWCA Civ 735 — "The issue arising on this appeal is whether a person, in order to have capacity to decide to have sexual relations with another person, needs to understand that the other person must at all times be consenting to sexual relations."


  • NHS guidance on MH law during coronavirus pandemic. NHS, 'Legal guidance for mental health, learning disability and autism, and specialised commissioning services supporting people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic' (v2, 19/5/20) —"This guidance provides advice and support to commissioners (clinical commissioning groups [CCG] and specialised commissioning), providers (CCG commissioned and specialised commissioned), health care professionals, social workers, Approved Mental Health Professionals, local authorities, experts by experience, clinical experts, and independent chairs for Care and Education and Treatment Reviews, as well as regional NHS England and NHS Improvement colleagues, to help with the local planning already underway. The guidance will also be helpful for other individuals and partner organisations, involved in the pathways of care, for people with mental health needs, a learning disability and/or autism, including police, prisons and Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs)." The main headings are: (1) Introduction; (2) Key messages; (3) The Mental Health Act 1983 and the emergency Coronavirus Act; (4) Operational considerations for use of the MHA; (5) Guidance on using the Code of Practice during the COVID-19 pandemic period; (6) The Mental Capacity Act; (7) The Care Act; (8) Specific considerations regarding restraint, restrictive practice and the management of people who refuse to isolate; (9) Escorting patients detained under the MHA, including those on Restriction Orders (Sections 41 and 49 MHA) to and from acute general hospitals; (10) Specific considerations for specialised commissioned services; (11) Specific considerations for learning disability and autism services; (12) Specific considerations for people with dementia; (13) Specific considerations for mental health, learning disability and autism and the Criminal Justice System; (14) Application of digital technology to Mental Health Act assessments; (15) Annexes: (Annex A) Resources that have been developed to support practice in mental health; (Annex B) Mental Health Casework Section; (Annex C) COVID-19 - Escorting patients detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA) including those on Restriction Orders (Sections 41 and 49) to and from acute general hospitals; (Annex D) Guidance on using the Code of Practice during the pandemic period: (a) Section 136 assessment; (b) Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) and responsibilities of Local Authorities; (c) The role of hospital managers’ panel; (d) Mental Health Tribunal Hearings; (e) Medical Reviews of Seclusion; (f) Section 17 leave and visitors; (g) Access to Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs); (h) Second Opinion Appointed Doctors service; (i) Electronic forms and electronic delivery; (Annex E) Checklist to support decision in line with the minimum standards and safeguards on the application of technology to the MHA assessments. Superseded by: NHS, 'Legal guidance for services supporting people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic: Mental health, learning disability and autism, specialised commissioning' (v3, 30/11/20).


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