On 3/11/08 the Tribunal systems in both England and Wales changed, but in different ways. In England, the Mental Health Review Tribunals were abolished and became part of the Health Education and Social Care chamber of the First Tier Tribunal. In Wales, the Tribunal remained the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales.
- 1 England - First-tier Tribunal
- 2 Wales - MHRT for Wales
- 3 Upper Tribunal
- 4 First-tier and Upper Tribunals
- 5 Legal Action articles
- 6 Old rules
- 7 Other external links
- 8 Related legislation
- 9 See also
- 10 Related book
England - First-tier Tribunal
- Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber) Rules 2008 — These are the rules for the new Health, Education and Social Care Chamber which came into force on 3/11/08. The changes made by the Tribunal Procedure (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Rules 2020 have been added to the text below (before that the last update was on 16/8/15).§
To avoid duplication, all the coronavirus-related documents such as Practice Directions are currently located on the following page: Mental Health Tribunal and coronavirus.
In particular, see Tribunal Procedure (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Rules 2020 which amend the MHT's rules.
- Practice Direction: First-tier Tribunal Health Education and Social Care Chamber: Statements and Reports in Mental Health Cases — This Practice Direction relates to the contents of reports required for mental health cases. In force 28/10/13 (superseding previous versions).§
- Practice Direction and Guidance: Medical Examinations  MHLO 43 — This document, dated 11/3/14, explains the regime in relation to medical examinations in cases received by the tribunal on or after 6/4/14. This page of the website contains a detailed summary of the changes.§
- Practice Statement: Delegation of Functions to Staff and to Registrars on or after 27 April 2015  MHLO 36 — The Practice Statement sets out the functions which may be carried out by clerks and registrars at the Tribunal secretariat. It replaces Practice Statement: Delegation of Functions to Staff and to Registrars on or after 10 June 2014  MHLO 44. In force 27/4/15. The two changes are: (1) para 2(a) (in relation to standard non-compliance directions) now refers to "the defaulting person" rather than "the defaulting party"; and (2) para 2(c) (in relation to consent by clerks to withdrawal) now states "...subject to the notice of withdrawal being received by the tribunal 48 hours or more before the scheduled start time of the hearing of the application to the tribunal; and subject to the case not being part-heard, there being in existence no concurrent application or reference, and no other reason for tribunal staff to believe that consent to the withdrawal should be refused, such as it appearing that the withdrawal is merely tactical" (the "48 hour" text replaces "not later than 4.30pm on the day before any listed hearing" and the other italicised text is new). Superseded by: Practice Statement: Delegation of Functions to Registrars, Tribunal Case Workers and Authorised Tribunal Staff on or after 8 July 2016 (7/7/16).§
- Practice Guidance: Mental Health jurisdiction: Postponements and adjournments following recent changes in listing practice  MHLO 48 — This document (dated June 2014, published 18/7/14) is based on internal guidance (in January 2014) to salaried tribunal judges and registrars which had set out factors which they 'may wish to take into account' when considering requests to postpone and adjourn a hearing.§
- Tribunal Procedure: Failure to submit reports to the tribunal on time (17 April 2015)  MHLO 38 — This letter to MHA Administrators sets out their duties in relation to an amended HQ1 form (which must be used from 5/5/15) and a related email to "stakeholders" sets out the duties of representatives. (1) The CNL1 letter will direct MHA Administrators to (a) provide contact details for all the responsible authority's witnesses, including any out-of-area social circumstances report author; (b) advise the tribunal if any details change; (c) certify that the information can be relied upon by the tribunal for service of directions and summonses. (2) When a report or statement is not received within the three-week deadline, a specific direction will be sent - generally by secure email - to the person at fault, requiring the evidence within 7 days, and warning that a referral may be made to the Upper Tribunal for consideration of a personal penalty. (3) If the required contact details have not been provided then any directions or summonses will be sent to the Chief Executive or Medical Director. (4) Representatives need only complete the patient details and listing parts of form HQ1 and, while form HQ2 is no longer required, the CNL2 letter will contain a reminder to (a) make representations if half a day is not a suitable time estimate; (b) inform the tribunal early if an interpreter is required; (c) use best endeavours to request any withdrawal at least two full working days before the hearing start time, and provide reasons for requests within that period.§
- Practice Guidance: Enforcement Procedure, Directions and Summonses (24/7/17) — This document contains the following headings: (1) The Responsible Authority’s duty to provide its written evidence within 3 weeks; (2) The Responsible Authority’s duty to cooperate with the tribunal, and provide the full identity and secure contact details of its statement and report writers; (3) The Responsible Authority’s duty to arrange for the attendance of witnesses; (4) The Legal Representative’s Duties; (5) What will the tribunal do to enforce compliance? (6) The MH5 direction to a named person to immediately provide written evidence; (7) Failure to comply with a personal MH5 Direction to give written evidence; (8) Summonses.§
- Tribunal guidance for patients. HMCTS et al, 'Mental Health Tribunal: An Easy Read Guide' (22/7/20) — "This document will help explain what you can expect if you attend a face-to-face Mental Health Tribunal hearing."
- Practice Guidance on Procedures Concerning Handling Representations from Victims in the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health) — Click on link to view page.§
- Observation guidance. Mental Health Tribunal, 'Guidance for the observation of tribunal hearings in the First-tier Tribunal Health Education and Social Care Chamber (mental health jurisdiction)' (10/1/19) — This guidance supersedes Mental Health Tribunal, 'Guidance for the observation of tribunal hearings' (5/11/09), the main difference being that it is no longer necessary for observation requests by solicitors, barrister, nurses, doctors, social workers etc to be made in advance to the Deputy Chamber President.
- Practice Statement: Composition of Tribunals in relation to matters that fall to be decided by the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber on or after 18/1/10 — This Practice Statement sets out the composition of Tribunals required for the taking of various decisions.§
- Practice Note: Role of the Independent Mental Health Advocate in First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health) Hearings — This guidance, issued in May 2011, clarifies the role that IMHAs should play in tribunal hearings. It contains the following main headings: (1) Introduction; (2) What Problems have Arisen?; (3) What is the Role of the IMHA?; (4) Attendance at the Hearing; (5) Relationship with the Legal Representative; (6) Giving Evidence; and (7) Access to the Tribunal’s Decision. The guidance, while acknowledging that an IMHA may be a 'representative' within the Tribunal Procedure Rules, is based on an expectation that ordinarily the IMHA should play a role distinct from the role of the legal representative.§
- Direction applicable to all Applications and References in Mental Health Cases received by the Tribunal on or before 4 April 2014 but not finally disposed of by the Tribunal on or before date  MHLO 45 — The text of this direction, dated 6/4/14, is as follows: "In accordance with Rule 5(1) and (2), and Rule 34(2)(c) I direct that: (1) In relation to all applications and references in mental health cases received by the tribunal on or before 4th April 2014 but not finally disposed of by the tribunal on or before that date, the appointed Panel Medical Member must, so far as practicable and having regard to any expressed wishes of the patient, examine the patient in advance of the hearing in order to form an opinion of the patient’s mental state; (2) In any such case, the Panel Medical Member may interview the patient in private."§
- Requirements imposed on hospitals. HMCTS, 'Minimum requirements for tribunal hearings to be held in hospitals' (11/4/18) — This document states that "[a] hearing room is as essential to a psychiatric hospital as an operating theatre is to a surgical hospital" and that if hospitals do not adhere to the minimum requirements or obtain a written exemption then the tribunal "may consider holding its judicial hearings elsewhere". The main headings are (1) Minimum standards of safety and security, and (2) Minimum requirements for facilities and amenities.
- MHT guidance for young people. RCPsych and Tribunals Judiciary, 'A Guide to Mental Health Tribunals for Young People' (11/2/16) — This document contains a simplified description of the tribunal process for civil sections.
- Nursing Reports - Advice to Panels from Regional Tribunal Judges
- Practice Statement: Delegation of functions to staff on or after 2 November 2010
- Guidance Booklet: Reports for Mental Health Tribunals
- Guidance: References made under section 68(7) Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended)
- Important notice: Operation of section 77(2) MHA 1983 - disregarding withdrawn applications
- Practice Statement: Delegation of Functions to Staff and to Registrars on or after 10 June 2014  MHLO 44
Wales - MHRT for Wales
Rules and Practice Directions
- Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales Rules 2008 — These new rules for the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales came into force on 3/11/08. See MHRT for Wales and coronavirus for updates.§
- Practice Direction: Use of the Welsh language in Tribunals in Wales - Tribunals website
- Welsh tribunal report PD. Practice Direction: Statements and reports for MHRTs in Wales (October 2019) — This practice direction, which is based on and is similar to the English 2013 equivalent, sets out what is required of tribunal reports.
Appeals go to the English Upper Tribunal.
The Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeal Chamber) replaces judicial review in relation to Tribunal decisions.
- Upper Tribunal website - reported decisions
- Tribunal Procedure (Upper Tribunal) Rules 2008 — These are the rules for the new Upper Tribunal, which come into force on 3/11/08. The amendments made by the Tribunal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2009, with effect from 1/4/09 are reflected in the text below; further amendments have since been made.§
- Practice Direction: Transcripts of Proceedings - Tribunals website
- Guidelines for reporting - text dated December 2009, file dated 19/4/10
First-tier and Upper Tribunals
- Practice Direction: Child, Vulnerable Adult and Sensitive Witnesses — This practice direction defines the three relevant categories of witnesses, then gives details of the circumstances under which they may give evidence, and the manner in which evidence is given. It applies both to the First-tier and Upper Tribunals, and is dated 30/10/08.§
- Practice Statement: Form of decisions and neutral citation: First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal on or after 3 November 2008 - Judiciary website
Legal Action articles
Reproduced by kind permission.
- Christopher Curran, Malcolm Golightley and Phil Fennell, 'Social circumstances reports for mental health tribunals - Part 1' (Legal Action, June 2010)
- Christopher Curran, Malcolm Golightley and Phil Fennell, 'Social circumstances reports for mental health tribunals - Part 1' (Legal Action, July 2010)
- Christopher Curran, Phil Fennell and Simon Burrows, 'Responsible authority statements for mental health tribunals' (Legal Action, March 2012)
Until 3/11/08, the Mental Health Review Tribunal Rules 1983 apply to the MHRT in both England and Wales.
- Judiciary website: Publications: Filtered by Jurisdiction matching "Mental Health" (Practice Directions and Statements)
- Mental Health Tribunal - England