Re C [2020] MHLO 48 (FTT)

Remote pre-hearing examinations are practicable (1) A salaried tribunal judge initially refused to allow a pre-hearing examination (PHE) because the coronavirus Pilot Practice Direction states: "During the Covid-19 pandemic it will not be 'practicable' under rule 34 of the 2008 Rules for any PHE examinations to take place, due to the health risk such examinations present." (2) Having treated the rule 46 application for permission to appeal as a rule 6 challenge, a different salaried tribunal judge decided that: (a) the practice direction is subordinate to the rules and overriding objective; (b) in video-enabled hearings with a full panel a PHE is practicable by that means; (c) hearings and PHEs should be conducted remotely as, even if the hospital would allow access, the tribunal will not put its members at risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus; (d) in this case, the PHE would take place by video link on the morning of the hearing. [First-tier Tribunal decisions are not binding.]


Thanks to Ben Conroy (Conroys Solicitors) for providing the decision.


The Deputy Chamber President has asked for this statement to be published: "Permission has been granted by the First Tier Tribunal to publish this case on the MHLO website. This is not a reported judgement. The decision is only made in relation to this case and as a decision of the FTT, there is no obligation on any other FTT judge or panel to follow this."

The practice direction referred to in the case is: Pilot Practice Direction: Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) (Coronavirus, 19/3/20).

The following were published after this case:


Full judgment: No Bailii link (neutral citation is unknown or not applicable)
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  • Coronavirus cases🔍
  • First-tier Tribunal decisions🔍
  • Powers🔍

Date: 21/8/20🔍

Court: First-tier Tribunal🔍



Citation number(s):

  • [2020] MHLO 48 (FTT)

What links here:

Published: 3/9/20 23:37

Cached: 2024-02-24 02:33:11