Absolute or conditional discharge

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Case and summary Date added Categories
* Inadequate reasons for not absolutely discharging SLL v Priory Healthcare Limited [2019] UKUT 323 (AAC)The patient challenged the tribunal's decision to grant a conditional, rather than absolute, discharge. (1) Ground 1: Failure properly to apply the two-stage process required by s73(1) and (2). The MHRT had decided (under s73(1)) that the s72(1)(b)(i) (appropriateness) test was not met, and had moved straight to s73(2) (absolute or conditional discharge) without considering s72(1)(b)(ii) (necessity) or s72(1)(b)(iia) (appropriate treatment). The UT decided that the statute permitted the tribunal to stop once it had decided that it was not satisfied of the first s72 test. However, s73(2) required the tribunal to make findings on substantially similar matters, albeit on a forward-looking basis, and to make a decision on the type of discharge on the basis of those findings. Without express findings (in particular in relation to potential medical treatment for any psychotic condition the patient may suffer from) and an explanation of how the relevant factors were weighed (including the two factors discussed below) it was not possible to be sure how the tribunal reached its decision. The UT gave guidance in paras 33-35 on the findings likely to be required when considering s73(2), and in para 47 on the appropriateness of treatment with no realistic prospect of therapeutic benefit. (2) Ground 2: Failure to give adequate reasons. The Appellant had presented credible expert evidence that risk could be managed by future Part 2 detention rather than the recall power, so it was incumbent on the Tribunal to explain why it was not persuaded by that evidence: instead, it had merely quoted another doctor's evidence (which stated that recall would be available but did not grapple with the Part 2 issue) and said that this evidence was "more apt". The Appellant had also argued that the setting of a psychiatric hospital was positively harmful, and the tribunal had failed to explain its rejection of this argument. Taken as a whole it was not adequately clear why the tribunal was not satisfied that it was inappropriate for the Appellant to continue to be liable to recall to hospital for further treatment. 2019‑12‑09 22:33:17

R (Brown) v North East Thames MHRT [2000] EWHC 640 (Admin)It was not in the public interest interest to pursue the judicial review of a Tribunal decision to discharge conditionally rather than absolutely: there had subsequently been a recall and a further well-reasoned conditional discharge; even if the applicant won he would be granted no relief. 2009‑04‑11 22:14:20 2000 cases, Absolute or conditional discharge, Brief summary, Transcript

Grey v UK 34377/02 [2002] ECHR 854A Tribunal granted an absolute discharge because the claimant suffered from no mental disorder, but on judicial review this was quashed because they had not first considered conditional discharge; a subsequent Tribunal reclassified him and upheld continued detention; his complaint under Article 5(1)(e) was rejected (no duty immediately and unconditionally to release into the community), as were complaints under Article 5(4) (no undue delay) and Article 6 (no right to appeal). 2009‑04‑10 13:24:35 2002 cases, Absolute or conditional discharge, Brief summary, ECHR, Transcript

R (SSHD) v MHRT, re Wilson [2004] EWHC 1029 (Admin)MHRT found that patient did not suffer from psychopathic disorder and directed absolute discharge; their decision was quashed because they had failed to consider conditional discharge criteria (i.e. whether patient should remain liable to be recalled for further treatment). Also: MHRT had no power to defer absolute discharge; had failed to explain why they rejected the RMO's evidence; and had misunderstood the legal definition of treatability. 2007‑02‑06 18:17:47 2004 cases, Absolute or conditional discharge, Brief summary, Transcript

R (SSHD) v MHRT, re BR [2005] EWCA Civ 1616MHRT granted absolute discharge without considering conditional discharge criteria; High Court quashed decision, so patient became detained restricted patient again; Home Office refused to grant s17 leave until next MHRT; Court of Appeal partially quashed MHRT decision but declared patient entitled to be conditionally discharged pending MHRT determination of appropriate discharge type. 2006‑05‑03 21:33:30 2005 cases, Absolute or conditional discharge, Detailed summary, Transcript

Reid v Secretary of State for Scotland [1998] UKHL 43(1) Treatability test is part of admission criteria for psychopathic disorder, so entitled to discharge when it is not met; definition of treatment is wide and can include treatment only for symptoms rather than underlying disorder, e.g. anger management. (2) Decision not to discharge not irrational. 2006‑04‑15 19:52:23 1998 cases, Absolute or conditional discharge, Detailed summary, Scottish cases, Transcript, Treatability test and psychopathic disorder

R (SSHD) v MHRT, re BR [2005] EWHC 2468 (Admin)For restricted patients, Tribunals should consider appropriateness of liability to recall even if not satisfied that there is any detainable mental disorder. 2006‑04‑12 20:49:45 2005 cases, Absolute or conditional discharge, Brief summary, Transcript