R (Hagan) v Anglia and Oxfordshire MHRT [1999] MHLR 204

In relation to the powers as to classification and reclassification of categories of mental disorder that existed under the MHA 1983 before its amendment by the MHA 2007, the question to be asked as to the use of the power was whether the patient had a mental disorder in a particular category (even if it was in remission) not whether that mental disorder was such as to justify detention. Accordingly, a Tribunal was not required to reclassify a patient who had been detained on the basis of 2 forms of disorder as being detained only under 1 form when the other was in remission and would not justify detention. [MHLR.]

Related cases

R (Hagan) v Anglia and Oxfordshire MHRT [1999] MHLR 204 - successful appeal

Update

A change made by the Mental Health Act 2007 is relevant to this case. See Mental disorder no longer split into separate classifications 3/11/08

MHLR

The summary below has been supplied by Kris Gledhill, Editor of the Mental Health Law Reports. The full report can be purchased from Southside Online Publishing (if there is a "file not found" error, it means this particular report is not yet available online). More similar case summaries from the year 1999 are available here: MHLR 1999. 1999 204

Reclassification - whether obligatory for Tribunal to delete reference to form of disorder in remission - R v Anglia and Oxfordshire MHRT ex p Hagan [1999] MHLR 204 CA

Points arising: In relation to the powers as to classification and reclassification of categories of mental disorder that existed under the MHA 1983 before its amendment by the MHA 2007, the question to be asked as to the use of the power was whether the patient had a mental disorder in a particular category (even if it was in remission) not whether that mental disorder was such as to justify detention. Accordingly, a Tribunal was not required to reclassify a patient who had been detained on the basis of 2 forms of disorder as being detained only under 1 form when the other was in remission and would not justify detention.

Facts and outcome: H was detained in 1995 under ss37/41 MHA 1983, classified as suffering from mental illness and psychopathic disorder. He challenged by judicial review a decision of a tribunal not to reclassify him as suffering only from psychopathic disorder in light of its conclusion that the mental illness was in remission and would not justify his detention if it stood alone. Collins J quashed the decision (2 December 1998, [1999] COD 151), holding that as the purpose of classification was to show the basis for detention and the form of disorder in relation to which compulsory powers could be used, the current medical situation should be reflected. However, the Court of Appeal allowed the tribunal’s appeal, holding that (i) the civil provisions (in s16 of the Act) do not require action if the patient still suffers from a form of disorder in remission, (ii) s72(5) should be construed so that it does not impose a different regime on those detained under the criminal provisions of the Act. (iii) Further, since conditions could not be imposed on a conditionally discharged patient in relation to a form of disorder which had been removed under s72(5), the section ought to be construed as giving the tribunal a discretion not to delete a mental disorder from which a patient still suffers where deletion might frustrate their powers in relation to conditional discharge in the future. Accordingly, reclassification relates to whether the patient suffers from a particular mental disorder; not to whether he is detainable for that mental disorder if it stood alone. Hence, the appeal was allowed.

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