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Cases > Subject : Criminal law capacity cases or Deprivation of liberty - children or Reasons

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Page name Sentence Summary
A Local Authority v AT and FE (2017) EWHC 2458 (Fam) Child, no approved secure accommodation available, deprivation of liberty "Section 25 of the Children Act 1989 makes express and detailed provision for the making of what are known as secure accommodation orders. Such orders may be made and, indeed, frequently are made by courts, including courts composed of lay magistrates. It is not necessary to apply to the High Court for a secure accommodation order. However, as no approved secure accommodation was available, the local authority required the authorisation of a court for the inevitable deprivation of liberty of the child which would be involved. It appears that currently such authorisation can only be given by the High Court in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction. ... I am increasingly concerned that the device of resort to the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court is operating to by-pass the important safeguard under the regulations of approval by the Secretary of State of establishments used as secure accommodation. ... In my own experience it is most unusual that a secure accommodation order could be made without the attendance of the child if of sufficient age and if he wished to attend, and without the child being properly legally represented. It is true, as Mr Flood says, that this is not an application for a secure accommodation order, but the analogy is a very close one. Indeed, the only reason why a secure accommodation order is not being applied for is because an approved secure accommodation unit is not available. It seems to me, therefore, that the statutory safeguards within section 25 should not be outflanked or sidestepped simply because a local authority have been forced, due to lack of available resources, to apply for the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction of this court rather than the statutory order. ... I propose to order that the child now be joined as a party to these proceedings and Cafcass must forthwith allocate a guardian to act on his behalf. ... In my view it is very important that ordinarily in these situations, which in plain language involve a child being 'locked up', the child concerned should, if he wishes, have an opportunity to attend a court hearing. The exception to that is clearly if the child is so troubled that it would be damaging to his health, wellbeing or emotional stability to do so."
Buckinghamshire County Council v RT (2018) EWCOP 12 DOL - 17-year-old "I am concerned with a young man who is now 17 ½ years old and who I shall refer to as RT in this judgement. ... RT's behavioural issues are such that it is no longer safe for him at home with his adoptive parents and siblings. The local authority have therefore applied under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for an order pursuant to section 4 and 16 of that act to deprive RT of his liberty so that he may be placed at [a place]. The arrangements for his care at that placement involve 2:1 supervision during the day and one to one at night. ... Is clear that the arrangements set out in the care plan amounts to a deprivation of liberty within the 'Storck' and Cheshire West cases. The level of supervision described is far in excess of that which might be applied to even the most unruly 17-year-old in a domestic setting. It clearly amounts to continuous supervision and control. ... It is very clear that it is RT's best interests to remain in an environment in which he can be protected from his own impulsivity and where others are protected. The very high levels of supervision are necessary and proportionate in the particular circumstances of this case. He needs intensive support and therapeutic input in order to reduce the risks he faces. This will not be a short-term recess but is likely to take months if not years. I therefore will make a deprivation of liberty order for one year. RT's 18th birthday is clearly a milestone for any teenager but I think has particular significance for RT. I will therefore list a review shortly before his 18th birthday which in particular will enable him to have a say at that point."
CM v Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (2011) UKUT 129 (AAC) Nature and degree (1) The Tribunal's decision not to discharge was made in error of law, and was set aside, (a) because there was no real evidence to support its view that non-compliance with medication and the risk of consequent relapse in the near future would probably occur, (b) because it did not establish that in these circumstances it had complied with the 'least restriction principle', (c) because of the irrationality in paragraph 21 of its decision (in that as the risk was of what might eventually happen it was hard to see how the envisaged leave regime could test that risk), and (d) because continued detention for the purposes of avoiding a chaotic lifestyle or drug taking or the absence of drug counselling is not permitted by law on the facts of this case. (2) The judgment contains a discussion of the 'nature' and 'degree' tests.
DL-H v West London MH NHS Trust (2017) UKUT 387 (AAC) Religious beliefs and tribunal expertise Judicial summary from Gov.uk website: (1) "In deciding whether a patient is manifesting religious beliefs or mental disorder, a tribunal is entitled to take account of evidence from both religious and medical experts." (2) "A tribunal is entitled to use its own expertise to make a different diagnosis from those of the medical witnesses, provided it allows the parties a chance to make submissions and explains its decision."
M v An NHS Trust (2017) MHLO 39 (UT) Tribunal reasons "[T]he tribunal's decision was made in error of law, but not [set aside]. In my grant of permission, I identified two possible errors of law. ... One of those errors was that the tribunal's reasons might be inadequate for being 'long on history and evidence but short on discussion.' ... There is, in truth, only one thing that really has to be said about the quality of reasons, which is that they must be adequate. Everything else is merely application of that principle to the circumstances of a particular case. ... [T]he second possible error [is] that the 'tribunal's reasoning shows that it was confused about its role and the [relevance] of a community treatment order'. ... [T]he reasons at least leave open the possibility that the tribunal may have strayed outside its proper remit. ... The first three sentences read: 'A cardinal issue of this application is whether the patient should be discharged from hospital by a CTO. This issue involves knowledge of the nature of a CTO. A CTO may only be imposed by the patient's RC ...' It may be that the judge did not express himself clearly, but that passage appears to begin by suggesting, and to continue by denying, that the tribunal had power to make Mr M subject to an order or was being asked to approve that course. The judge did then make a distinction between discharge from hospital and discharge from the liability to be detained. So it is possible that his reference to 'discharge from hospital by a CTO' may have been intended, not as a direction about the tribunal's powers on the application, but as a statement of how the responsible clinician envisaged Mr M's eventual progress. This interpretation would be consistent with what the tribunal said later ... In view of Mr M's current status [he had been discharged], I do not have to decide whether those reasons do or do not show that the tribunal misdirected itself. I limit myself to saying that it is risky if reasons can be read in a way that indicates a misdirection. ... Given that Mr M is no longer liable to be detained, I can see no need to venture outside the appropriate role of the Upper Tribunal in mental health cases and state, even in the form of a narrative declaration, that the tribunal should have exercised its power to discharge him. That is why I have exercised my power to refuse to set aside the tribunal's decision regardless of any error of law that it may have made."
R v C (2008) EWCA Crim 1155 Capacity to consent to sexual activity If the complainant consented to sexual activity against her inclination because she was frightened of the defendant, even if her fear was irrational and caused by her mental disorder, it did not follow that she lacked the capacity to choose whether to agree to sexual activity. [Overturned on appeal.]
R v C (2009) UKHL 42 Sexual consent For the purposes of s30 Sexual Offences Act 2003: (1) lack of capacity to choose can be person or situation specific; (2) an irrational fear arising from mental disorder that prevents the exercise of choice could amount to a lack of capacity to choose; (3) inability to communicate could be as a result of a mental or physical disorder.
Raqeeb v Barts NHS Foundation Trust (2019) EWHC 2531 (Admin) Withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment - transfer to Italy This judgment related to: (a) the child's (Tafida's) judicial review of the Trust's decision not to agree to transfer her to an Italian hospital; (b) the Trust's application for a specific issue order under s8 Children Act 1989, and for an inherent jurisdiction declaration, that it was in the child's best interests for life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn. Both applications were dismissed, with the effect that one of the hospitals had to continue life-sustaining treatment and, there being no justification for interfering with Tafida's right (under Article 56 Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union) to receive treatment in another EU state, it was anticipated that the transfer would take place. The judgment provides guidance on dealing with a request by parents of an EU citizen child for transfer for medical treatment in another Member State.
Re A-F (Children) (2018) EWHC 138 (Fam) DOL - children "... [T]he situation of the "young" or "very young" ... does not involve a "confinement" for the purposes of Storck component (a), even though such a child is living in circumstances which plainly satisfy the Cheshire West "acid test". ... For all present purposes, "confinement" means not simply "confining" a young child to a playpen or by closing a door, but something more: an interruption or curtailment of the freedom of action normally to be ascribed to a child of that age and understanding. ... Now at this point in the analysis a difficult question arises which has not hitherto been addressed, at least directly. At what point in the child's development, and by reference to what criteria, does one determine whether and when a state of affairs satisfying the "acid test" in Cheshire West which has hitherto not involved a "confinement" for the purposes of Storck component (a), and where Article 5 has accordingly not been engaged, becomes a "confinement" for that purpose, therefore engaging Article 5 (unless, that is, a valid consent has been given by someone exercising parental responsibility)? ... [W]hether a state of affairs which satisfies the "acid test" amounts to a "confinement" for the purposes of Storck component (a) has to be determined by comparing the restrictions to which the child in question is subject with the restrictions which would apply to a child of the same "age", "station", "familial background" and "relative maturity" who is "free from disability". ... The question is raised as to whether it is possible to identify a minimum age below which a child is unlikely to be "confined", and hence to be deprived of their liberty, given the expectation that a comparable child of the same age would also likely be under continuous supervision and control and not free to leave. ... Inevitably, one has to proceed on a case-by-case basis, having regard to the actual circumstances of the child and comparing them with the notional circumstances of the typical child of (to use Lord Kerr's phraseology) the same "age", "station", "familial background" and "relative maturity" who is "free from disability". ...[T]he best I can do, by way, I emphasise, of little more than 'rule of thumb', is to suggest that: (i) A child aged 10, even if under pretty constant supervision, is unlikely to be "confined" for the purpose of Storck component (a). (ii) A child aged 11, if under constant supervision, may, in contrast be so "confined", though the court should be astute to avoid coming too readily to such a conclusion. (iii) Once a child who is under constant supervision has reached the age of 12, the court will more readily come to that conclusion. That said, all must depend upon the circumstances of the particular case and upon the identification by the judge in the particular case of the attributes of the relevant comparator as described by Lord Kerr. The question is also raised whether, in undertaking the comparison required by the "acid test", the comparison should be made with a 'typical' child of the same age who is subject to a care order. The answer in my judgment is quite clearly, No. ... I turn to matters of process and procedure."
Re A-F (Children) (No 2) (2018) EWHC 2129 (Fam) DOL - children "The purpose of the hearing, as it developed, was to deal with four matters: (i) A review of any relevant developments since the previous hearing in August 2017. (ii) The making of final orders. (iii) In that context, consideration of the implications of the fact that two of the children with whom I am concerned either have had or will, during the currency of the final order, if granted, have their sixteenth birthday. (iv) The formulation, if possible, of standard forms of order for use in such cases."
Re D (A Child) (2017) EWCA Civ 1695 DOL "This is an appeal from an order of Keehan J sitting in the Court of Protection dated 15 March 2016, following a judgment handed down on 21 January 2016: Birmingham City Council v D [2016] EWCOP 8M, [2016] PTSR 1129. Permission to appeal was granted by McFarlane LJ on 14 June 2016. The proceedings related to D, who was born on 23 April 1999, and was therefore 16 years old when the matter was heard by Keehan J in November 2015. Similar issues in relation to D had been before Keehan J in the Family Division earlier in 2015 when D was 15 years old, judgment (which was not appealed) having been handed down on 31 March 2015: Re D (A Child) (Deprivation of Liberty) [2015] EWHC 922 (Fam)M, [2016] 1 FLR 142B. In each case, the essential question was whether D was being deprived of his liberty within the meaning of and for the purposes of Article 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms."
Re T (A Child) (2018) EWCA Civ 2136 Secure accommodation "This appeal relates to the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction by the High Court, Family Division when called upon to make orders which, but for a lack of capacity in the statutory system, would be made as secure accommodation orders under Children Act 1989, s 25 (CA 1989)."
Re Y (Autism - Care Proceedings - Deprivation of Liberty): LB Barking and Dagenham v Mr and Mrs X (2018) EWHC B63 DOL of child "The local authority, represented by Ms Mustafa of counsel, applies for a care order under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989 and for an order declaring that it is lawful for the local authority to deprive Y of his liberty. Y is the child of the First and Second Respondent parents. Mr and Mrs X are represented by Ms Prolingheuer of counsel. Mr and Mrs X oppose the application for a Care Order and DoL and submit he should return home to their care"
RM v St Andrew's Healthcare (2010) UKUT 119 (AAC) Non-disclosure of covert medication (1) When considering the "interests of justice" limb of rule 14(2), the key test to be applied is whether or not non-disclosure of the document or information would allow the patient to make an effective challenge to his detention. (2) On the facts, without knowing that he was being covertly medicated the patient would be unable effectively to challenge his detention; the non-disclosure decision was set aside and re-made. (3) Non-disclosure orders should not only be drafted in terms of documents, but also should deal, in a precise, clear and exhaustive way, with the information which should not be disclosed.
SLL v Priory Healthcare Limited (2019) UKUT 323 (AAC) Inadequate reasons for not absolutely discharging 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.

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