NL v Hampshire CC [2014] UKUT 475 (AAC), [2014] MHLO 107

The patient was deprived of his liberty and appealed against the tribunal's refusal to exercise its discretion to discharge him from guardianship. (1) Upper Tribunal Judge Jacobs stated that the cause of deprivation of liberty was the care plan, not the guardianship, adding in relation to guardianship powers generally: "I find it difficult to imagine a case that could realistically arise in which those basic powers could be used in a way that would satisfy the conditions for deprivation of liberty." (2) He dismissed the appeal on the ground that the guardianship did not give rise to a deprivation of liberty and the tribunal was not obliged to exercise its discretion to discharge the patient. (3) The approach to discretionary discharge in the GA case (relating to CTOs) was equally relevant to guardianship or detention: "it is difficult to imagine a case in which the tribunal could properly exercise its discretion to discharge without there being appropriate safeguards to ensure the necessary treatment and protection." (4) That the burden of proof in guardianship cases remained with the patient (in contrast with detention cases) was not a drafting oversight but a further indication that guardianship is not designed to involve a deprivation of liberty. (5) The tribunal had not misplaced the burden of proof (or given any directions on the legal burden). In assessing arguments on this issue it is important to distinguish between the legal burden and the evidential burden. (6) Tribunals are entitled to require the parties to satisfy them by evidence and argument that concessions (on matters of fact or law) are sound and, if they fail to do so, tribunals are not obliged to accept them.

Related judgments

GA v Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board [2013] UKUT 280 (AAC), [2013] MHLO 50 applied.

External link

BAILII!

Transcript on OSSCSC website