Mental health case law


The mental health cases on this site are structured into categories and (where appropriate) sub-categories:

  • To browse through categories and cases, click on the ▼ and ► symbols as appropriate.
  • To view summaries of all cases within a category, click on the category name.
  • To view a particular case, click on the case name (which will be listed under the relevant category).
Case law - by subject matter(18 categories)
Anonymisation cases(4 pages)
Capacity and DOL(21 categories)
Classification(2 categories)
Community care and after-care(3 categories, 1 pages)
Criminal law cases(10 categories)
Disability discrimination(19 pages)
Inquests(35 pages)
Medical records cases(4 pages)
Mental Health Tribunals(15 categories)
Ministry of Justice(29 pages)
Miscellaneous(217 pages)
Nearest relative cases(3 categories, 2 pages)
Odds and sods(2 categories)
Repatriation cases(80 pages)
SRA decisions(12 pages)
Welfare benefits cases(11 pages)

New database structure

The new database structure introduced in 2019 is more potentially useful than the old categorisation system: see Special:Drilldown/Cases.

Since January 2019 all new case law, legislation and resources have been added to a searchable database. Some older material has also been added. Progress in transfer to new database structure:

All pages remain within the old category structure. More powerful searches can be conducted on those items which are in the new database (click "browse" to find out more).

Absolute or conditional discharge (1)   Advance decision cases (1)   After-care (10)   Anonymisation cases (1)   Best interests (7)   Bias (2)   Capacity to consent to sexual relations (11)   Change of status after application made (4)   Community care (7)   Community care and after-care (1)   COP costs cases (5)   Criminal law capacity cases (2)   Deprivation of liberty (25)   Deprivation of liberty - children (8)   Deputyship cases (6)   Diminished responsibility cases (2)   Disability discrimination (1)   Discharge conditions (4)   ECHR deprivation of liberty cases (1)   EPA cases - all (1)   EPA cases - other (1)   First-tier Tribunal decisions (7)   Foreign protective measure cases (6)   Hospital managers hearings (2)   Hybrid order cases (3)   Inherent jurisdiction cases (14)   Inquests (7)   LGO decisions (8)   Life sentence cases (3)   Litigation capacity cases (6)   Litigation friend cases (9)   LPA cases - all (3)   LPA cases - other (4)   Medical records cases (4)   Medical treatment cases (39)   MHT capacity cases (5)   Miscellaneous (27)   Other capacity cases (23)   Other criminal law cases (4)   Other NR cases (2)   Other Tribunal cases (3)   Powers (15)   Prison law cases (12)   Publicity (6)   Reasons (6)   Repatriation cases (13)   Reporting restriction order cases (3)   Restriction order cases (1)   Sentence appeal cases (7)   SRA decisions (3)   Statutory will cases (1)   Testamentary capacity cases (5)   Unfitness and insanity cases (1)   Unlawful detention cases (5)   Upper Tribunal decisions (27)   Welfare benefits cases (1)  

If you have been involved in a case not listed here, or have a transcript that is not yet on Bailii, then please get in touch. See Help page for contact details.

2020 cases

The following are the most recently-added 2020 cases:

The pages below are initially ordered according to the dates on which they were added to the site (most recent first). The order can be changed by clicking on the symbol beside a column heading: click on the symbol beside "Page and summary" for alphabetical order; click beside "Categories" for the order in which the cases were reported. Click on the arrow symbol again to reverse the order. Click on a page name to view the relevant page. Asterisks mark those cases which have been added to the new database structure.

Case and summary Date added Categories
* Private law restitution claim between public bodies Surrey County Council v NHS Lincolnshire CCG [2020] EWHC 3550 (QB)The local authority successfully brought a private law claim in restitution against the CCG to recover accommodation and care costs of JD, a young autistic man, on the basis that the CCG had made an error of public law when it twice declined to assess whether JR was eligible for NHS care. 2020‑12‑28 21:56:13 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Community care and after-care

* Death and religion JB v University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust [2020] EWCA Civ 1772The COP had decided that it was in RS's best interests not to receive life-sustaining treatment, including artificial ventilation, nutrition and fluids. On appeal, his niece argued that the decision was unjust because of serious procedural error in that it was taken with an insufficient degree of inquiry into how RS would have wanted to be treated against the backdrop of the tenets of his Roman Catholic faith (and also that the judge breached natural justice and Article 6 by prohibiting cross-examination of RS's wife on the grounds that she was distressed and/or by permitting her to communicate additional evidence by a confidential letter to the judge which was not disclosed to the parties). Permission to appeal was not granted. 2020‑12‑28 21:42:58 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Medical treatment cases

* DOL of child at unregulated placement Lancashire County Council v G (No 3) [2020] EWHC 3280 (Fam)(1) The judge authorised deprivation of liberty at a sub-optimal placement as there was no other option but discharge into the community where she would almost certainly cause herself possibly fatal harm. (2) The judge noted the following points from the Children's Commissioner's November 2020 report entitled "Who are they? Where are they? 2020 - Children Locked Up": "(i) There continues to be a group of children who are being deprived of their liberty in settings which are not deemed appropriate. These children are in need of a placement that can manage the high level of risk that they present whilst holding them securely but there are no such placements available. (ii) There is no official data on the numbers of children who find themselves in this position but it would appear that at there are a significant number of extremely vulnerable children who professionals have decided are in need of a bed in a secure accommodation unit but who are instead are placed in unregulated placement. (iii) There is evidence that, with high numbers of children waiting to be placed, perverse incentives exist for placements to take the children who pose the least risk rather than the children who have the most need. (iv) There are a group of children who fall between the gaps of all placement settings, children for whom secure accommodation is not available or appropriate but who also do not meet the criteria under the Mental Health Act 1983 for admission to a mental health ward." 2020‑12‑12 11:20:32 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Inherent jurisdiction cases

* DOL of child at unregulated placement Lancashire County Council v G (No 2) [2020] EWHC 3124 (Fam)(1) The judge concluded that "once again with deep reservations, I am remain satisfied on balance that it is in G's best interests to authorise the deprivation of her liberty in her current placement notwithstanding that the placement is plainly sub-optimal from the perspective of meeting G's identified and highly complex welfare needs and is an unregulated placement". (2) The following observations by the Children's Commissioner in a briefing paper entitled "The children who no-one knows what to do with" (published in November 2020 after the previous judgment in this case) were noted: (a) no work is being done to forecast and co-ordinate provision of secure accommodation and regulated placements in order to match need; (b) there are some 200 children awaiting a place in secure accommodation; (c) during 2018/2019 12,800 children spent some time accommodated in unregulated placements with no regulatory oversight by OFSTED. 2020‑12‑12 11:11:54 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Inherent jurisdiction cases

* Whether to register LPAs Re KC: LCR v SC [2020] EWCOP 62(1) The three-stage test in Re J (2010) COP 6/12/10 for revocation of an LPA was applied to LPA registration in this case: the LPAs were not registered as the acrimonious relationship among the donees would prevent them from acting in KC's best interests. (2) a panel deputy for property and affairs was appointed, but no personal welfare deputy. 2020‑12‑12 10:59:32 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, LPA cases - all, LPA cases - other, Deputyship cases

* Care, and deputyship Essex County Council v CVF [2020] EWCOP 65The court dealt with three issues: (1) the amount of care and support CVF needed; (2) whether the local authority should replace CVF's mother, JF, as property and affairs deputy (yes); (3) whether JF should be appointed as personal welfare deputy (no). 2020‑12‑12 10:35:19 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Deputyship cases, Best interests

* Competence/capacity and puberty blockers Bell v Tavistock And Portman NHS Foundation Trust [2020] EWHC 3274 (Admin)(1) The relevant information that a child would have to understand, retain and weigh up in order to have the requisite competence in relation to puberty blockers, would be as follows: (i) the immediate consequences of the treatment in physical and psychological terms; (ii) the fact that the vast majority of patients taking puberty blockers go on to cross-sex hormones and therefore that he or she is on a pathway to much greater medical interventions; (iii) the relationship between taking cross-sex hormones and subsequent surgery, with the implications of such surgery; (iv) the fact that cross-sex hormones may well lead to a loss of fertility; (v) the impact of cross-sex hormones on sexual function; (vi) the impact that taking this step on this treatment pathway may have on future and life-long relationships; (vii) the unknown physical consequences of taking PBs; and (viii) the fact that the evidence base for this treatment is as yet highly uncertain. (2) Gillick competence is treatment- and person-specific but the court gave clear guidance that it is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under, and very doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15, would ever be Gillick competent to give consent to being treated with puberty blockers. (3) There is a presumption that young people aged 16 or over have capacity to consent but, given the long-term and potentially irreversible consequences and the experimental nature of the treatment, clinicians may well consider that it is not appropriate to move to treatment such as puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones without the involvement of the court, and it would be appropriate to involve the court when there may be any doubt about long-term best interests. 2020‑12‑03 22:16:30 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Medical treatment cases

* Ex turpi causa Henderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust [2020] UKSC 43The respondent admitted negligently failing to return the appellant to hospital on the basis of her manifest psychotic state, which led to her stabbing her mother to death. The Supreme Court held that the previous case of Gray v Thames Trains Ltd [2009] UKHL 33M could not be distinguished, and should not be departed from, and that therefore the claim was barred by the doctrine of ex turpi causa non oritur actio (illegality). 2020‑11‑09 12:05:39

* Inherent jurisdiction - dispensing with service A Local Authority v B [2020] EWHC 2741 (Fam)It was proper to dispense with service of proceedings on B's father in relation to inherent jurisdiction proceedings seeking a declaration authorising the deprivation of B's liberty at a community therapeutic placement following discharge from section 2 detention in hospital. 2020‑10‑29 22:26:17 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Inherent jurisdiction cases

* Inherent jurisdiction Mazhar v Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust [2020] EWCA Civ 1377Mr Mazhar was removed from his home to hospital without warning by police and paramedics in the middle of the night under the High Court's inherent jurisdiction on the basis of an out-of-hours application. (1) The Trust's application for, and the granting of, the order for which there was no proper evidence and without giving Mr Mazhar the opportunity to be heard amounted to a clear breach of his Article 6 rights and was a flagrant denial of justice. (2) It was unnecessary to decide whether the inherent jurisdiction extends to the making of an order that has the effect of depriving a vulnerable adult of liberty provided the provisions of Article 5 are met. (3) The President of Family Division was invited to consider whether fresh guidance should be given to practitioners and judges about applications of this sort, and the court set out a list of seven clear lessons to be learnt. 2020‑10‑29 21:49:16


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