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(215 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.

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 (4)   Foreign protective measure cases (6)   Hospital managers hearings (2)   Hybrid order cases (2)   Inherent jurisdiction cases (9)   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 (23)   Other capacity cases (22)   Other criminal law cases (4)   Other NR cases (2)   Other Tribunal cases (2)   Powers (14)   Prison law cases (12)   Publicity (1)   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)  

Progress in transfer to new database structure:

All pages remain within the old category structure, but more useful searches can be conducted on the new database.

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
* 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

* Public hearing and capacity AR v West London NHS Trust [2010] MHLO 49 (UT)(1) The four factors set out in AH which must be considered in any application for a public hearing under Tribunal rule 38 are merely factors relevant to the ultimate test of whether a public hearing is in the interests of justice. The first factor ("whether it is consistent with the subjective and informed wishes of the patient (assuming that he is competent to make an informed choice") does not mean that a patient must have capacity in order to be allowed a public hearing, although the wisdom of the patient's wishes is relevant to the application of rule 38. (2) The relevant "matter" for the purposes of assessing capacity is not merely the public hearing application but conduct of the proceedings generally, although lack of capacity in relation to the former entails lack of capacity in relation to the latter. (3) The First-tier Tribunal had restricted its capacity assessment to the decision to apply for a public hearing, and had concluded that "[w]ithout being able to make an informed choice [the patient] cannot have a public hearing", so had erred in relation to both both points. 2020‑09‑29 22:47:26

* 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

* Capacity to make tribunal application SM v Livewell Southwest CIC [2020] UKUT 191 (AAC)(1) This majority decision confirmed that the test for capacity to make a tribunal application stated in the VS case was correct (that the patient must understand that she is being detained against her wishes and that the First-tier Tribunal is a body that will be able to decide whether she should be released). (2) In a dissenting judgment Sarah Johnston DCP stated that the test should be: "Does the patient want to be free to leave?" (3) The Upper Tribunal decided (again by a majority) that tribunal panel had not erred in striking out the patient's case, and gave detailed procedural guidance, including: (a) if a patient regains capacity then the tribunal should consider inviting the patient to make a fresh application and, having abridged any procedural obligations, proceed to hear the case; (b) anyone can request that the Secretary of State make a reference, including when a patient lacks capacity and wishes to leave hospital: this includes not only the hospital managers and IMHA, but also the tribunal itself, which could adjourn for this purpose instead of immediately striking out the case. 2020‑07‑10 23:49:01 2020 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, MHT capacity cases, Upper Tribunal decisions

* Habitual residence Re QD (No.2) [2020] EWCOP 14A legal deadlock had arisen: (a) the English court did not have primary jurisdiction, as QD was habitually resident in Spain; (b) the Spanish court would not exercise its jurisdiction unless QD were in Spain; (c) there was no obligation to return QD there. The coronavirus travel bans meant an "urgent" decision under MCA 2005 sch 3 that he be returned could not be made, so the decision was adjourned for 3-4 months. 2020‑07‑08 14:46:59 2020 cases, Cases, Foreign protective measure cases, Judgment available on Bailii

* Capacity - DOL Sunderland City Council v AS [2020] EWCOP 13(1) The court decided that a CTO patient lacked capacity in all relevant areas (litigation, residence, care and contact). When giving oral evidence the jointly-instructed psychologist changed her mind on: litigation capacity (initially she thought AS had litigation capacity while not having subject matter capacity), residence (she placed insufficient weight on 'structure and routine', which is an integral part of the information relevant to a decision on residence in supported as opposed to independent living), and fluctuating capacity. The judge noted with approval the approach in NICE guidance on "Decision-making and mental capacity" to people with executive dysfunction. (2) The court authorised the deprivation of liberty (there was a high level of supervision throughout the day and night, in the accommodation and community). 2020‑07‑07 16:47:31 2020 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty, Judgment available on Bailii, Litigation capacity cases, Other capacity cases

* Recognition of foreign protective measure Health Service Executive of Ireland v Moorgate [2020] EWCOP 12(1) The necessary criteria were met for the recognition and enforcement of protective measures contained in an order made by the Southern Irish High Court which authorised the patient's transfer from a London hospital to a specialist hospital in Leeds. (2) An appendix entitled "Domestic regimes applicable to SM and those in her position" contains the following headings: (a) Application of the MHA; (b) Hospital admission under the MHA; (c) Treatment under the MHA; (d) Representation and support; (e) Challenging detention; (f) Removal of alien patients; (g) Mental Capacity Act 2005 (excluding the provisions of Schedule 3); (h) Inherent jurisdiction of the High Court; (i) Comparison of protections under MHA and under Schedule 3. 2020‑07‑06 14:28:45 2020 cases, Cases, Foreign protective measure cases, Judgment available on Bailii


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