R (Lee-Hirons) v SSJ [2013] EWHC 1784 (Admin), [2013] MHLO 54

"For the detailed reasons set out above I am satisfied that the decision to recall the Claimant was lawful because there had been a deterioration in his mental health since the hearing before the Tribunal. I find that there is a duty to give the patient who is being recalled oral reasons for that decision. I am satisfied that the Claimant was told of the reasons for his recall. I therefore dismiss the claim for damages for false imprisonment and breaches of article 5 of the ECHR, and I dismiss the claim for a declaration." [Summary required.]

Related judgments

R (Lee-Hirons) v SSJ [2016] UKSC 46, [2016] MHLO 38

MHLR

The summary below has been supplied by Kris Gledhill, Editor of the Mental Health Law Reports. The full report can be purchased from Southside Online Publishing (if there is a "file not found" error, it means this particular report is not yet available online). More similar case summaries from the year 2014 are available here: MHLR 2014.

Whether a decision to recall a conditionally discharged patient was lawful; whether written reasons for recall are necessary at common law and under Art 5(2) ECHR - R (Dale Lee-Hirons) v Secretary of State for Justice – [2014] MHLR 38 (High Court)

Points Arising: (1) Recall following a Tribunal decision to release a patient requires a change in circumstances such that the Secretary of State can reasonably form a view that the criteria for detention are made out; this does not need a written medical report. (2) At common law and in accordance with Art 5(2) ECHR, and to be fair, reasons have to be given so that the person knows why they have been detained, which need only be oral, or the detention is unlawful.

Facts and Outcome: DL-H was recalled from a conditional discharge only shortly after it had been put into effect on the basis that a change in his presentation indicated an increased risk. He was told when the warrant was executed that it was because his health had deteriorated. A Tribunal upheld detention. D-LH sought damages for false imprisonment or breach of the Human Rights Act for the period from recall to the Tribunal decision, arguing that the decision to recall was inconsistent with the Tribunal decision, took into account an irrational consideration (being a view as to the grandiosity of his poetry), and was made without a full medical report; and was illegally executed as written reasons were required. The irrationality claim was dismissed, and it was noted that there had been a change in circumstances since the Tribunal decision (namely the deterioration) which allowed the view to be formed that detention was necessary, which did not need a formal medical report as a psychologist and the supervising psychiatrist had been consulted. It was found that the oral indication that recall was due to a deterioration in health met the duty to give reasons. As such, the claim was dismissed.

Note: an appeal was dismissed, though part of the reasoning was different: [2015] MHLR 1.

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