Mental health case law


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508 cases have so far been added to a new database structure which allows for more powerful searches. The following form will search for cases in the database and (except for the fields Year, Court and Judge) those not in the database.

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Database drilldown

You can browse the database cases using filters including Subject, Date, Judges, Parties and Court at Special:Drilldown/Cases.


All 2223 cases on this site are structured into categories and (where appropriate) sub-categories. Click ▼ and ► to browse the category tree. Click a category name to see summaries of its cases. Click a case name for details of that case.

Case law - by subject matter(21 categories)
Anonymisation cases(4 pages)
Bias cases(14 pages)
Capacity and DOL(20 categories)
Classification cases(2 categories)
Community care and after-care(3 categories)
Coronavirus cases(9 pages)
Criminal law cases(10 categories)
Disability discrimination(19 pages)
Inquest cases(1 categories, 37 pages)
Medical records cases(4 pages)
Mental Health Tribunals(16 categories)
Ministry of Justice cases(29 pages)
Miscellaneous cases(221 pages)
Nearest relative cases(3 categories)
Odds and sods(2 categories)
Power of attorney cases(2 categories)
Repatriation cases(80 pages)
SRA decisions(12 pages)
Welfare benefits cases(15 pages)
Case law - by year(43 categories)

Recently-added cases

The following are the most recently-added cases:

Case name Sentence Summary Added
A NHS Foundation Trust v G [2021] EWCOP 69 Residence G, now 27 years old, had been in a children's hospital since the age of 13. The court decided that it would be in her best interests to be discharged to a care home instead of to her family. The CCG were unprepared to pay the cost of a move home at that point so in reality there were only two options (the care home or the hospital). 25/6/22
A NHS Foundation Trust v G [2022] EWCOP 25 Injunctions G, now 27 years old, had been in a children's hospital since the age of 13. A previous judgment had decided that she should be transferred to a care home prior to any return home, but her father had sabotaged that placement. The Trust sought injunctive relief against G's father, mother and grandmother, in order to put in place clear boundaries to manage their behaviour. The family argued unsuccessfully that the s16(5) MCA 2005 power to make further "necessary or expedient" orders applied only in the context of the appointment of deputies, that s47(1) MCA 2005 (and therefore s37(1) Supreme Court Act 1981) is not apt to cover restricting behaviours in the context of either a hospital or care home, and that little or no weight should be afforded to the hearsay evidence of anonymous nurses about the father's behaviour. The court granted the relief sought. 25/6/22
K v Clinical Director of Drogheda Department of Psychiatry [2022] IEHC 248 Unlawful detention The patient was discharged by the tribunal but almost immediately re-detained, initially under short-term holding power (under the Southern Irish MHA), when she tried to leave. Her detention was unlawful for two reasons: (a) she did not fall within the definition of a "voluntary patient" (this was because she was not being treated; her desire to leave was irrelevant); (b) the the statutory forms had been incorrectly completed (and the "lamentable state of affairs" was not cured by a subsequent affidavit). The judge directed her release but asked her solicitor to advise her to consider remaining in hospital voluntarily. 20/6/22
Lewis-Ranwell v G4S Health Services (UK) Ltd [2022] EWHC 1213 (QB) Ex turpi causa The claimant killed three men, was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity, then sought damages from G4S, the police, the NHS trust and the county council. The argument that his claim should be struck out on the grounds of illegality was unsuccessful: "The law would not be condoning wrongdoing because the jury's verdict means there was none." 23/5/22
IM v Gateshead Council [2020] EWFC B85 Habitual residence "My task is to consider the issue of habitual residence as of today. The Local Authorities, both Gateshead and Edinburgh, submit that habitual residence in England has not been established and IM continues to be habitually resident in Scotland. Mr Wilkinson on behalf of IM, instructed by the official solicitor, argues that IM is habitually resident in England. Determination of the issue is required because of the consequences which flow thereafter. ... If habitual residence in England is established the powers of the court thereafter are much wider than otherwise." 14/4/22
London Borough of Islington v EF [2022] EWHC 803 (Fam) Vulnerable adult (1) The local authority sought orders under the inherent jurisdiction to prohibit EF from travelling to her partner GH in Brazil. He was 11 years her senior, met her online when she was 14, sent her an engagement ring at 15, came to England when she was 16, and returned to Brazil during a police investigation after he was caught downloading images of very young children as part of his addiction to pornography. (2) The judge agreed that EF was a vulnerable adult (she had been a looked-after child, with schizoaffective disorder and a fragile personality) but that despite the "undue influence" she was able to make the relevant (albeit "very unwise") decision, and in any event decided that the inherent jurisdiction does not allow "dictatorial" orders (or alternatively only allows them in truly exceptional circumstances), so refused to grant the orders sought. (3) The judge accepted the local authority's view that EF had the relevant capacity, despite the medical expert's evidence including that "EF could not understand the nature of her relationship with GH, the risks to her from the relationship nor weigh up all the competing factors" and the judge himself finding that "EF does not appreciate the risks to her physical safety nor the risks to her mental health", presumably because he decided that the inability to make the decision was not because of an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain. (4) The proposed travel ban would violate her private and family life rights under Article 8 ECHR. 14/4/22
MOC v SSWP [2022] EWCA Civ 1 DLA in hospital The rule providing that payment of Disability Living Allowance to an adult is suspended after 28 days in an NHS hospital (the aim being to prevent duplication of public funding to meet the same purpose) did not breach the patient's rights under Article 14 read with A1P1 ECHR. 13/4/22
A Midlands NHS Trust v RD [2021] EWCOP 36 Private hearing This case (about non-treatment of anorexia) should held in private, in particular because RD's wish that intensely personal matters be not discussed in public. 30/3/22
R v Keal [2022] EWCA Crim 341 M'Naghten Rules and choice (1) In order to establish the defence of insanity within the M'Naghten Rules on the ground of not knowing the act was "wrong", the defendant must establish both that (a) he did not know that his act was unlawful (i.e. contrary to law) and (b) he did not know that his act was "morally" wrong (also expressed as wrong "by the standards of ordinary people"). "Wrong" means both against the law and wrong by the standards of ordinary reasonable people. (2) Under the M'Naghten Rules, the defence of insanity is not available to a defendant who, although he knew what he was doing was wrong, believed that he had no choice but to commit the act in question. (3) The current law on insanity cannot be interpreted as involving an element of "choice", as significant changes to an aspect of our criminal law that has remained undisturbed for so long, laden with policy choices as they would be, are more properly for Parliament. (4) The judge's direction of law in the present case was appropriate and the convictions are safe. 19/3/22
S v Birmingham Women's And Children's NHS Trust [2022] EWCOP 10 Abortion (1) The medical bodies' assertion that there had been "unanimous agreement" that S lacked capacity or that abortion was not in her best interests was a distortion of reality, as they had excluded S's objections from their decision making. Their failure to refer the matter to court, which was in contravention of Practice Guidance (Court of Protection: Serious Medical Treatment) [2020] EWCOP 2, meant that: (a) S, while a s3 patient and at the cost of incurring personal debt, had to bring proceedings herself; (b) there was extreme time pressure, the last day for a lawful abortion being the day after the hearing; and (c) the hearing inappropriately had to be held remotely and without the opportunity for public observation. (2) The relevant information in this particular case was: (a) what the termination procedures involve for S ("what it is"); (b) the effect of the termination procedure/the finality of the event ("what it does"); (c) the risks to S's physical and mental health in undergoing the termination procedure ("what it risks"); (d) the possibility of safeguarding measures in the event of a live birth. (3) S had capacity to decide whether to have an abortion. 12/3/22



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