Public tribunal hearings
In England, all hearings must be held in private unless the Tribunal considers that it is in the interests of justice for the hearing to be held in public (Tribunal rule 38). The Upper Tribunal has considered the approach to be adopted by the tribunal in deciding whether to hold a public hearing in AH v West London MH NHS Trust  UKUT 264 (AAC), AH v West London MH NHS Trust  UKUT 74 (AAC), and more recently in AR v West London NHS Trust  UKUT 273 (AAC).
In Wales, except where a patient requests a hearing in public and the Tribunal is satisfied that that would be in the interests of the patient, all hearings must be held in private (Welsh Tribunal rule 25).
The following are public tribunal hearings which are known or believed to have happened:
- A hearing in Broadmoor in March 1975 — see Stewart Tendler, '‘Public before press’ move backfires at Broadmoor tribunal' (The Times, 5/3/75) and The Times, 'Broadmoor man fails in freedom plea' (7/3/75).
- Possibly one public hearing at Ashworth between January 2000 and January 2003 — this is mentioned in the first paragraph of R (Mersey Care NHS Trust) v MHRT, re Brady  EWHC 1749 (Admin) (in which the High Court set aside the MHRT's initial decision to hold a public hearing).
- Albert Haines. 2011 — The tribunal's reasons for not discharging him are available at Re Albert Haines  MHLO 169 (FTT).
- Ian Brady, 2011 — The reasons for not discharging him are at Re Ian Brady  MHLO 89 (FTT).
- Jared Britton, 2013 — An announcement about the public hearing is at Re Jared Britton  MHLO 146 (FTT). There seems to be no mention of this anywhere so maybe the press were not informed on time.