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Mental health case law


The mental health cases on this site are structured into categories and (where appropriate) sub-categories:

  • To browse through categories and cases, click on the ▼ and ► symbols as appropriate.
  • To view summaries of all cases within a category, click on the category name.
  • To view a particular case, click on the case name (which will be listed under the relevant category).
Case law - by subject matter(18 categories)
Anonymisation cases(4 pages)
Capacity and DOL(21 categories)
Classification(2 categories)
Community care and after-care(3 categories)
Criminal law cases(10 categories)
Disability discrimination(19 pages)
Inquests(35 pages)
Medical records cases(4 pages)
Mental Health Tribunals(15 categories)
Ministry of Justice(29 pages)
Miscellaneous(217 pages)
Nearest relative cases(3 categories, 2 pages)
Odds and sods(2 categories)
Repatriation cases(80 pages)
SRA decisions(12 pages)
Welfare benefits cases(11 pages)

New database structure

The new database structure introduced in 2019 is more potentially useful than the old categorisation system: see Special:Drilldown/Cases.

Since January 2019 all new case law, legislation and resources have been added to a searchable database. Some older material has also been added. Progress in transfer to new database structure:

All pages remain within the old category structure. More powerful searches can be conducted on those items which are in the new database (click "browse" to find out more).

Absolute or conditional discharge (1)   Advance decision cases (1)   After-care (10)   Anonymisation cases (1)   Best interests (6)   Bias (2)   Capacity to consent to sexual relations (11)   Change of status after application made (4)   Community care (4)   COP costs cases (5)   Criminal law capacity cases (2)   Deprivation of liberty (25)   Deprivation of liberty - children (8)   Deputyship cases (4)   Diminished responsibility cases (2)   Disability discrimination (1)   Discharge conditions (4)   ECHR deprivation of liberty cases (1)   EPA cases - all (1)   EPA cases - other (1)   First-tier Tribunal decisions (5)   Foreign protective measure cases (6)   Hospital managers hearings (2)   Hybrid order cases (2)   Inherent jurisdiction cases (12)   Inquests (7)   LGO decisions (8)   Life sentence cases (3)   Litigation capacity cases (6)   Litigation friend cases (9)   LPA cases - all (2)   LPA cases - other (3)   Medical records cases (4)   Medical treatment cases (37)   MHT capacity cases (5)   Miscellaneous (27)   Other capacity cases (23)   Other criminal law cases (4)   Other NR cases (2)   Other Tribunal cases (2)   Powers (14)   Prison law cases (12)   Publicity (2)   Reasons (6)   Repatriation cases (13)   Reporting restriction order cases (3)   Restriction order cases (1)   Sentence appeal cases (7)   SRA decisions (3)   Statutory will cases (1)   Testamentary capacity cases (5)   Unfitness and insanity cases (1)   Unlawful detention cases (5)   Upper Tribunal decisions (23)   Welfare benefits cases (1)  

If you have been involved in a case not listed here, or have a transcript that is not yet on Bailii, then please get in touch. See Help page for contact details.

2020 cases

The following are the most recently-added 2020 cases:

The pages below are initially ordered according to the dates on which they were added to the site (most recent first). The order can be changed by clicking on the symbol beside a column heading: click on the symbol beside "Page and summary" for alphabetical order; click beside "Categories" for the order in which the cases were reported. Click on the arrow symbol again to reverse the order. Click on a page name to view the relevant page. Asterisks mark those cases which have been added to the new database structure.

Case and summary Date added Categories
* Expert evidence guidance AMDC v AG [2020] EWCOP 58The court was critical of the jointly-instructed psychiatric reports in this case and provided detailed guidance on how experts' reports on capacity can best assist the court. 2020‑11‑21 23:29:52 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Other capacity cases

* Ex turpi causa Henderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust [2020] UKSC 43The respondent admitted negligently failing to return the appellant to hospital on the basis of her manifest psychotic state, which led to her stabbing her mother to death. The Supreme Court held that the previous case of Gray v Thames Trains Ltd [2009] UKHL 33M could not be distinguished, and should not be departed from, and that therefore the claim was barred by the doctrine of ex turpi causa non oritur actio (illegality). 2020‑11‑09 12:05:39

* Inherent jurisdiction - dispensing with service A Local Authority v B [2020] EWHC 2741 (Fam)It was proper to dispense with service of proceedings on B's father in relation to inherent jurisdiction proceedings seeking a declaration authorising the deprivation of B's liberty at a community therapeutic placement following discharge from section 2 detention in hospital. 2020‑10‑29 22:26:17 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Inherent jurisdiction cases

* Inherent jurisdiction and DOL Lancashire County Council v G [2020] EWHC 2828 (Fam)A 16-year-old girl was inappropriately placed on an adult mental health ward, there was no secure placement or regulated non-secure placement was available in the UK, the only placement was an unregulated placement that was not prepared to apply to OFSTED for registration, and the alternative was discharge with nowhere to go and a very high risk of fatal self-harm. The judge authorised deprivation of liberty at the unauthorised placement but noted grave reservations about whether the court was really exercising its welfare jurisdiction or simply being forced by mere circumstance to make an order irrespective of welfare considerations. The judge directed the judgment be sent to the Children's Commissioner for England, the Secretary of State for Education, the Chair of the Residential Care Leadership Board, the Minister for Children, the Chief Social Worker, OFSTED and SWCU. 2020‑10‑29 22:10:24 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Inherent jurisdiction cases

* Inherent jurisdiction Mazhar v Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust [2020] EWCA Civ 1377Mr Mazhar was removed from his home to hospital without warning by police and paramedics in the middle of the night under the High Court's inherent jurisdiction on the basis of an out-of-hours application. (1) The Trust's application for, and the granting of, the order for which there was no proper evidence and without giving Mr Mazhar the opportunity to be heard amounted to a clear breach of his Article 6 rights and was a flagrant denial of justice. (2) It was unnecessary to decide whether the inherent jurisdiction extends to the making of an order that has the effect of depriving a vulnerable adult of liberty provided the provisions of Article 5 are met. (3) The President of Family Division was invited to consider whether fresh guidance should be given to practitioners and judges about applications of this sort, and the court set out a list of seven clear lessons to be learnt. 2020‑10‑29 21:49:16

* Deprivation of liberty during conditional discharge Birmingham City Council v SR [2019] EWCOP 28(1) Both patients supported but lacked capacity in relation to the proposed care plans, which involved deprivation of liberty concurrently with a conditional discharge, and those plans were in their best interests. (2) Obiter, the division in the MOJ's post-MM guidance (MCA DOL for incapacitous patients whose risk is to themselves, but MHA s17 leave for incapacitous patients whose risk is to others and for capacitous patients) did not withstand scrutiny as it is in patients' best interests to be kept "out of mischief" and therefore out of psychiatric hospital. 2020‑10‑17 09:00:36 Judgment available on Bailii, Cases, 2020 cases, Deprivation of liberty, Discharge conditions

* EAT capacity and litigation friend Stott v Leadec Ltd (2020) UKEAT 263/19The Employment Appeal Tribunal adjourned for a medical report on litigation capacity and commented on the continuing lack of rules rules containing clearly defined powers in relation to proceedings involving protected parties (as defined in Part 21 of the CPR) in employment tribunals and in the EAT. 2020‑08‑29 17:25:13 2020 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Litigation friend cases

* Conditional discharge and DOL MC v Cygnet Behavioural Health Ltd [2020] UKUT 230 (AAC)(1) Although, following MM, the First-tier Tribunal has no power to impose conditions which would amount to a deprivation of liberty, it does have the power to coordinate its decision with the provision of an authorisation under the MCA, either by "the different hats approach" (the same judge sitting in the COP and the FTT) or "the ducks in a row approach" (adjournment or deferred conditional discharge). (2) This involves no Article 14 discrimination in favour of incapacitous restricted patients as, under SSJ guidance, the equivalent outcome can be reached for capacitous patients by using s17 leave. (3) The FTT had misunderstood the MM decision and had been wrong to refuse to defer conditional discharge for a standard authorisation to be put in place. (4) The UT discharged the patient subject to conditions of residence, supervision and compliance with "all aspects of the care package" (surprisingly, as the care package would amount to a deprivation of liberty), with permission to apply to the FTT for variation on a material change in circumstances (surprisingly, as the MHA sets out when an application may be made). 2020‑07‑24 21:31:01 2020 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty, Discharge conditions, Judgment available on Bailii, Judgment available on MHLO, Transcript, Upper Tribunal decisions

* Insanity legislation and foreign criminals SSHD v MZ [2020] UKUT 225 (IAC)A person sentenced to a hospital order following a finding under CPIA 1964 s5(1)(b) that he "is under a disability and that he did the act or made the omission charged against him" is not subject to s117C Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ("Article 8: additional considerations in cases involving foreign criminals") or paragraphs A398-399 (also concerning deportation of foreign criminals) of the Immigration Rules. 2020‑07‑20 22:39:33 2020 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Repatriation cases

* Restricted hospital order instead of life sentence R v Cleland [2020] EWCA Crim 906Life sentence with 7-year minimum term quashed and substituted with s37/41 restricted hospital order. 2020‑07‑20 22:26:00 2020 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Sentence appeal cases


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