May 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 2046 categorised cases


  • Case (Appeal against IPP). R v Stredwick [2020] EWCA Crim 650 — "In this appeal the appellant invites the court to quash the sentence of imprisonment for public protection imposed in 2008 and make an order pursuant to section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983 ("the 1983 Act") for his admission or continued detention at Ty Gwyn Hall Hospital, Abergavenny. The appellant also invites the court to make an accompanying Restriction Order without limit of time under section 41 of the 1983 Act. The Crown does not oppose this appeal, nor the orders sought."
  • Case (Section status and aftercare). Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (19 012 290a) [2020] MHLO 21 (LGSCO) — "Summary: The Ombudsmen find there was fault by a Trust in giving a family incorrect information about a mental health patient’s status. When this came to light it caused the patient’s wife considerable stress which has not yet been fully addressed. The Ombudsmen also find that fault by a Council meant the patient’s wife suffered this stress for too long. The Ombudsmen has recommended small financial payments to act as an acknowledgement of the outstanding injustice."
  • Case (Testamentary capacity). Clitheroe v Bond [2020] EWHC 1185 (Ch) — "This is a bitter family dispute between the Claimant brother and Defendant sister as to whether their mother, the deceased, had testamentary capacity to make each of her two wills and in addition or in the alternative whether either or both wills resulted from fraudulent calumny."
  • Case (Successful s45A appeal). R v Westwood [2020] EWCA Crim 598 — "In the circumstances of this case there was a sound reason for departing from the need to impose a sentence with a "penal element". In view of the low level of the appellant's "retained responsibility", the likelihood that for the rest of his life he will need psychiatric treatment and supervision that can most effectively be provided through orders under sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act, and the likely advantages in this case of the regime for and on his release under such orders when compared to an order under section 45A, we consider that that is the right disposal here."


  • Community hearings are now being listed. Mental Health Tribunal, 'Order and directions for listing of community hearings' (6/5/20) —These cases had been postponed on 26/3/20 but now will be listed for hearing because the tribunal "has now achieved a level of administrative support to be able to list cases for community patients". The order and directions set out the duties on patients' representatives and responsible authorities in relation to reports, consideration of paper hearings, agreed hearing dates, and remote hearing practicalities.
  • CTO hearings being listed again. Conroys Solicitors, 'Listing of community hearings' (press release, 6/5/20) —It is understood that the order which postponed community hearings is no longer in force (the order stated that it was not feasible or practicable for a community patient to attempt to participate in a telephone or video hearing) and that the tribunal secretariat is working through the backlog.
  • Coronavirus testing and capacity. Alex Ruck Keene et al, 'Rapid response guidance note: Testing for COVID-19 and mental capacity' (4/5/20) —"The Court of Protection team has been asked to advise on a number of occasions as to the legal position in relation to testing for COVID-19, especially as testing (a) starts to be more generally available; and (b) is increasingly been rolled out as mandatory in certain settings. What follows is a general discussion, as opposed to legal advice on the facts of individual cases, which the team can provide. It primarily relates to the position in England in relation to those aged 18 and above; specific advice should be sought in respect of Wales and those under 18."
  • Information about Hive group. Court of Protection, 'Letter about Hive group' (Mr Justice Hayden, 4/5/20) —This letter sets out the aim and constitution of the Hive group, with particular focus on: (1) property and affairs; (2) welfare cases in the context of deprivation of liberty; (3) "community DOL" orders under COP DOL11; (4) transparency. The HIVE mailbox ( can be used to raise coronavirus issues which do not relate to specific cases.


  • Resumption of three-member tribunals. Hearings taking place on or after 1/6/20 will be heard by a three-member panel (this was stated at the Mental Health Jurisdictional Stakeholders Meeting on 6/5/20). See Mental Health Tribunal and coronavirus.


  • Event. Event:Bond Solon: DoLS Legal Update (online, 22/5/20) — This course is aimed at ensuring that those operating under the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are able to do so lawfully. Delegates will explore the current legal framework, set within the context of public health measures introduced by the Government during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It will also satisfy the mandatory Legal Update/Refresher course that BIAs must undertake every 12 months. Price: £265 plus VAT. See website for further details and booking information.

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