October 2016 update

Website

  • Mental Health Law Online CPD scheme: 12 points for £60. Obtain 12 CPD points online by answering monthly questionnaires. The scheme is an ideal way to obtain your necessary hours, or to evidence your continued competence. It also helps to support the continued development of this website, and your subscriptions (and re-subscriptions) are appreciated. For full details and to subscribe, see CPD scheme.

Case law

  • Ministry of Justice case. R (Lee-Hirons) v SSJ [2016] UKSC 46, [2016] MHLO 38 — "A man is convicted of an offence. Satisfied that he is suffering from mental disorder, the court makes an order for his detention in hospital. Satisfied that it is necessary for the protection of the public, the court also makes a restriction order, which removes from the hospital the power to discharge him. In due course a tribunal directs his discharge from hospital on conditions. Afterwards, however, the Secretary of State for Justice (“the Minister”) exercises his power to recall the man to hospital, where he is subject to renewed detention. This appeal is about the explanation for the recall which the law requires the Minister to provide to the man both at the time of his recall and soon afterwards."
  • After-care case. After-care. Richards v Worcestershire County Council [2016] EWHC 1954 (Ch) — "The present proceedings were issued on 6 March 2015. They seek to recover sums totalling £644,645.87, which, it is said, were spent by Mr Richards' deputy on his behalf on providing him with care. The claim is based on section 117 of the 1983 Act. It is Mr Richards' case that section 117 applied when he was released from hospital in 2004 and that, accordingly, the defendants had a duty to provide him with after-care services. He contends that that duty extended to the provision of the various services which have thus far been paid for privately. ... There are essentially two issues to consider: (i) Is it in principle possible for Mr Richards to bring a restitutionary claim? (ii) If so, can the present claim be pursued otherwise than by way of judicial review?"
  • Reporting restriction order case. UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v G [2016] EWCOP 28, [2016] MHLO 40 — "This brief judgment concerns an application by the Applicant Health Trust for the variation of a reporting restriction order (RRO) made by Hogg J on 11 March 2016 in proceedings concerning the Respondent, Miss G. That order, which is expressed to last until one month after Miss G's death, prohibits her identification or the identification of members of her family, all of whom are adults, as being concerned in these proceedings. The Trust, supported by the family, now asks for the order to be extended indefinitely. That application is opposed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of Miss G and by the Press Association in submissions lodged on its behalf by Mr Dodd."
  • Reporting restriction order case. M v Press Association [2016] EWCOP 34, [2016] MHLO 39 — "The hearing had taken place over four days in early November. On 2 November 2015 I made a reporting restriction order, prohibiting the identification of the first respondent and Mrs N in any press reporting 'during her lifetime'. I also decided that, for a period of seven days after her death, the injunction should continue. On 17 December 2015 the applicant, M, applied to vary the RRO to extend its duration until '14 days after the final judgment in the matter of V v Associated Newspapers Ltd' [2016] EWCOP 21!. In that case, to which I will refer below, Charles J was considering the scope and ambit of such Reporting Restriction Orders following the death of P. On 13 January 2016 I varied the order in the terms applied for, no party sought to contest it. On 16 December 2015 Mrs N died. On 25 April 2016 Charles J delivered the judgment in V (supra) and on 4 May 2016 M applied to vary the RRO to extend the duration 'until further order of the court'."
  • Inherent jurisdiction case. Re FD (Inherent Jurisdiction: Power of Arrest) [2016] EWHC 2358 (Fam), [2016] MHLO 37 — "FD is an 18 year old young woman. In July 2016 a local authority issued proceedings seeking an injunction under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court to prevent AD (her father) and GH (a male friend) from having contact with FD and from going to her home. So far as concerns the application for an injunction against GH, the local authority also seeks a power of arrest. The issue before the court is whether a power of arrest may be attached to an injunction granted by the High Court under its inherent jurisdiction in the case of a vulnerable adult who has capacity. ... It is clear that under its inherent jurisdiction the High Court has a wide and largely unfettered discretion to grant injunctive relief to protect vulnerable adults. That discretionary power is at least as wide as its powers in wardship. In Re G the Court of Appeal was in no doubt that under its inherent jurisdiction in wardship the High Court has no power to attach a power of arrest to an injunction. I am in no doubt that the position is exactly the same so far as concerns the inherent jurisdiction to protect vulnerable adults. ... [I]t appears that FD will again be unrepresented at the next hearing, on 17th October, at which the court will determine whether she is a vulnerable person in respect of whom the court should exercise its inherent protective jurisdiction. FD does not accept that she is a vulnerable adult. Neither does she support the local authority's application for injunctions against AD and GH. If she is not, in fact, a vulnerable adult then the orders sought by the local authority would, if made, be in breach of FD's Article 8 right to respect for her private and family life. I make that point simply to highlight the importance and significance for FD of the decisions the court is being invited to make. At the hearing on 17th October FD will be a litigant in person defending an application by a local authority represented by leading counsel. There will be no equality of arms. However hard the court tries to ensure that there is a level playing field, the reality is that FD will be significantly disadvantaged. I can do no more than to invite the Legal Aid Agency to reconsider its decision as a matter of urgency."
  • LPA case. Miles v The Public Guardian [2015] EWHC 2960 (Ch), [2015] MHLO 139 — "I have before me two appeals from decisions of Senior Judge Lush sitting in the Court of Protection, one in a case called Re Miles and one in a case called Re Beattie in both of which he was concerned with lasting powers of attorney either for property and financial affairs or for health and welfare matters. In each case the former power of attorney had been drafted by the same solicitor and contained provisions which the Judge was asked to rule on, as to whether they were effective."
  • Government website: Queen's Bench Masters List for 27/10/16. A further hearing in the John Blavo case will be heard on 27/10/16, before Master Kay QC in RCJ room E121 at 2pm. Summary of the previous judgment: Lord Chancellor v John Blavo [2016] EWHC 126 (QB), [2016] MHLO 6There was a strongly arguable case that John Blavo was party to an arrangement whereby false claims were submitted to the LAA in many thousands of cases, there was evidence of a less than scrupulous approach to his duty of disclosure to the Court, and evidence of a recent attempt improperly to put property beyond the reach of the Lord Chancellor. Taking these matters together there was a real risk that any judgment would go unsatisfied because of disposal of assets. Given the sums of money involved and the admitted financial difficulties it was just and convenient in all the circumstances to continue the freezing order. (The precursor to the official investigation was an audit during which 49 files were passed to the LAA's counter-fraud team, whose conclusions included: "In respect of 42 of these 49 files HMCTS have confirmed that they have no record of there having been tribunal proceedings either in respect of the individual client or on the date when the file indicates...Following this, the LAA made inquiries of the NHS on a selection of files among the 42 that had no tribunal hearing and the NHS confirmed that they have no records relating to 16 of the clients... After completing this analysis the Applicant undertook a further comparison of all mental health tribunal claims against the HMCTS system. As a result of this analysis, it was found that the Company had submitted a total of 24,658 claims for attendance at tribunals of which 1485 (6%) tribunals were recorded by HMCTS as having taken place... After visiting the Company's Head Office and requesting documentation from the Company and the Respondent, the LAA team used an electronic sampling tool to randomly select 144 cases for further investigation, across the last three complete financial years. Only 3% could be evidenced from HMCTS records...")
  • Alex Ruck Keene, 'Legal aid for historic human rights breaches in the CoP' (Court of Protection Handbook, 7/6/16). This web page notes that, after permission to apply for judicial review was granted, the LAA conceded that the correct statutory interpretation of LASPO 2012 is that legal aid funding is available to 'P' to bring a claim for damages under the Human Rights Act, within the Court of Protection, not only ongoing but also for historic breaches. See Legal Aid#Court of Protection

Legal Aid Agency

  • Legal Aid Agency, 'Improving Your Quality In Mental Health' (v4, dated July 2016, published 29/9/16). See Peer review
  • Peer review guidance with changes highlighted. A document highlighting the changes between v3 and v4 is now available. See Peer review#External links

Journal

  • First edition of the International Journal of Mental Health and Capacity Law (October 2016). The articles in this edition are: — Seismic Shifts: reconfiguring 'capacity' in law and the challenges of Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (Rosalind F Croucher) — With and Without 'Best Interests': the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the Adults With Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 and constructing decisions (Alex Ruck Keene, Adrian D Ward) — When is a Voluntary Patient not a Voluntary Patient? An examination of the degree to which the Irish courts have sought to engage with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, in relation to the treatment and detention of voluntary or 'informal' patients (Hope Davidson) — Can the use of the Mental Health Act be the 'least restrictive' approach for psychiatric in-patients? (Beth Ranjit) — No longer 'anomalous, confusing and unjust': the Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 (Colin Harper, Gavin Davidson, Roy McClelland). See International Journal of Mental Health and Capacity Law

CQC

Job

Book

Events

  • Edge Training: Deprivation of liberty in children and young people - London, 5/12/16 — This course aims to update staff working with children, young people and those in transition with the latest case law and developments in relation to deprivation of liberty. The course will consider these developments and their impact on practice. It examines the Supreme Court ruling on deprivation of liberty and considers practical issues in its application for children and young people. Speaker: Dawn Revell. Cost: £130 plus VAT (£156). See flyer for further details and booking information.
  • Edge Training: Hoarding and the law - London, 28/11/16 — This one-day interactive course for mental health and social care professionals reviews the different manifestations of hoarding and the possible origins of this behaviour, and then considers a range of possible responses under the law and where each one might be appropriate. Speaker: Simon Foster. Cost: £130 plus VAT (£156). See flyer for further details and booking information.
  • ‎Edge Training: Deprivation of liberty in the community - London, 25/11/16 — This one day course is designed to enable participants to identify when applications need to be made to the Court of Protection to authorise deprivation of liberty and to comply with the requirements set down by the Court for making such applications. Speaker: Michelle Pratley. Cost: £130 plus VAT (£156). See flyer for further details and booking information.

Twitter