|Rules and Practice Directions/Guidance
- Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber) Rules 2008 — These are the rules for the new Health, Education and Social Care Chamber which came into force on 3/11/08. This page was last updated on 16/8/15.
- Practice Direction: First-tier Tribunal Health Education and Social Care Chamber: Statements and Reports in Mental Health Cases — This Practice Direction relates to the contents of reports required for mental health cases. In force 28/10/13 (superseding previous versions).
- Practice Direction and Guidance: Medical Examinations  MHLO 43 — This document, dated 11/3/14, explains the regime in relation to medical examinations in cases received by the tribunal on or after 6/4/14. This page of the website contains a detailed summary of the changes.
- Practice Statement: Delegation of Functions to Staff and to Registrars on or after 27 April 2015  MHLO 36 — The Practice Statement sets out the functions which may be carried out by clerks and registrars at the Tribunal secretariat. It replaces Practice Statement: Delegation of Functions to Staff and to Registrars on or after 10 June 2014  MHLO 44. In force 27/4/15. The two changes are: (1) para 2(a) (in relation to standard non-compliance directions) now refers to "the defaulting person" rather than "the defaulting party"; and (2) para 2(c) (in relation to consent by clerks to withdrawal) now states "...subject to the notice of withdrawal being received by the tribunal 48 hours or more before the scheduled start time of the hearing of the application to the tribunal; and subject to the case not being part-heard, there being in existence no concurrent application or reference, and no other reason for tribunal staff to believe that consent to the withdrawal should be refused, such as it appearing that the withdrawal is merely tactical" (the "48 hour" text replaces "not later than 4.30pm on the day before any listed hearing" and the other italicised text is new). Superseded by: Practice Statement: Delegation of Functions to Registrars, Tribunal Case Workers and Authorised Tribunal Staff on or after 8 July 2016 (7/7/16).
- Practice Guidance: Mental Health jurisdiction: Postponements and adjournments following recent changes in listing practice  MHLO 48 — This document (dated June 2014, published 18/7/14) is based on internal guidance (in January 2014) to salaried tribunal judges and registrars which had set out factors which they 'may wish to take into account' when considering requests to postpone and adjourn a hearing.
- Tribunal Procedure: Failure to submit reports to the tribunal on time (17 April 2015)  MHLO 38 — This letter to MHA Administrators sets out their duties in relation to an amended HQ1 form (which must be used from 5/5/15) and a related email to "stakeholders" sets out the duties of representatives. (1) The CNL1 letter will direct MHA Administrators to (a) provide contact details for all the responsible authority's witnesses, including any out-of-area social circumstances report author; (b) advise the tribunal if any details change; (c) certify that the information can be relied upon by the tribunal for service of directions and summonses. (2) When a report or statement is not received within the three-week deadline, a specific direction will be sent - generally by secure email - to the person at fault, requiring the evidence within 7 days, and warning that a referral may be made to the Upper Tribunal for consideration of a personal penalty. (3) If the required contact details have not been provided then any directions or summonses will be sent to the Chief Executive or Medical Director. (4) Representatives need only complete the patient details and listing parts of form HQ1 and, while form HQ2 is no longer required, the CNL2 letter will contain a reminder to (a) make representations if half a day is not a suitable time estimate; (b) inform the tribunal early if an interpreter is required; (c) use best endeavours to request any withdrawal at least two full working days before the hearing start time, and provide reasons for requests within that period.
- Practice Guidance: Enforcement Procedure, Directions and Summonses (24/7/17) — This document contains the following headings: (1) The Responsible Authority’s duty to provide its written evidence within 3 weeks; (2) The Responsible Authority’s duty to cooperate with the tribunal, and provide the full identity and secure contact details of its statement and report writers; (3) The Responsible Authority’s duty to arrange for the attendance of witnesses; (4) The Legal Representative’s Duties; (5) What will the tribunal do to enforce compliance? (6) The MH5 direction to a named person to immediately provide written evidence; (7) Failure to comply with a personal MH5 Direction to give written evidence; (8) Summonses.
Observation guidance This guidance has been superseded by Mental Health Tribunal, 'Guidance for the observation of tribunal hearings in the First-tier Tribunal Health Education and Social Care Chamber (mental health jurisdiction)' (10/1/19). It deals with the various categories of observers and the terms on which they may be permitted to attend tribunal hearings.
GUIDANCE FOR THE OBSERVATION OF TRIBUNAL HEARINGS
The purpose of this guidance is to set down the terms and conditions for the observation of tribunal hearings, which are usually held in private, and for the appropriate handling of confidential reports and other documentary evidence.
The Tribunal Procedure Rules 2008
1. Rule 38(1) provides that all hearings must be held in private unless the tribunal considers that it is in the interests of justice for the hearing to be held in public.
Rule 14(7) also provides that, unless the tribunal gives a direction to the contrary, information about mental health cases and the names of any persons concerned in such cases must not be made public. Where a hearing, or part of it, is to be held in private, the tribunal may determine who is permitted to attend the hearing or part of it (Rule 38(3)).
2. Except in relation to judge or member induction or training, appraisals, or observations by the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council (AJTC), the strong presumption in all cases is in favour of privacy and confidentiality, and individual tribunals should not exercise powers to hold proceedings in public, or disclose any information about mental health cases to others outside the jurisdiction (including to judges in other jurisdictions), without first consulting the Deputy Chamber President or, in his absence, the Principal Salaried Judge. Additionally, save as above, the views of the patient and/or the patient’s representative must be sought before any disclosure of relevant confidential information takes place, and any objections from the patient and/or the patient’s representative must be respected.
Categories of observers
Judge or Member Induction or Training
3. Following appointment as a judge or member of the tribunal, it is a term and condition of a person’s appointment that, unless they have adequate relevant previous experience, they should observe a number of tribunal hearings as part of their induction or training before they are entitled to sit. These observations have to be facilitated and, subject to the tribunal judge and the booking and listing team being made aware in advance, the following guidelines apply:-
- 3.1 The presence of the observer at the hearing is not subject to the consent of the patient, witnesses, individual tribunal members, or any other party. However, if the presence of the observer causes a patient to feel particular discomfort or distress, the observer and the ..→
- Practice Statement: Composition of Tribunals in relation to matters that fall to be decided by the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber on or after 18/1/10 — This Practice Statement sets out the composition of Tribunals required for the taking of various decisions.
- Practice Note: Role of the Independent Mental Health Advocate in First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health) Hearings — This guidance, issued in May 2011, clarifies the role that IMHAs should play in tribunal hearings. It contains the following main headings: (1) Introduction; (2) What Problems have Arisen?; (3) What is the Role of the IMHA?; (4) Attendance at the Hearing; (5) Relationship with the Legal Representative; (6) Giving Evidence; and (7) Access to the Tribunal’s Decision. The guidance, while acknowledging that an IMHA may be a 'representative' within the Tribunal Procedure Rules, is based on an expectation that ordinarily the IMHA should play a role distinct from the role of the legal representative.
- Direction applicable to all Applications and References in Mental Health Cases received by the Tribunal on or before 4 April 2014 but not finally disposed of by the Tribunal on or before date  MHLO 45 — The text of this direction, dated 6/4/14, is as follows: "In accordance with Rule 5(1) and (2), and Rule 34(2)(c) I direct that: (1) In relation to all applications and references in mental health cases received by the tribunal on or before 4th April 2014 but not finally disposed of by the tribunal on or before that date, the appointed Panel Medical Member must, so far as practicable and having regard to any expressed wishes of the patient, examine the patient in advance of the hearing in order to form an opinion of the patient’s mental state; (2) In any such case, the Panel Medical Member may interview the patient in private."
- Practice Statement: Delegation of functions to staff on or after 2 November 2010 — On 2/11/10 the Senior President of Tribunals issued a Practice Statement delegating the following functions to the appropriate administrative staff: (1) the issue of non-compliance directions in relation to late reports; (2) the giving of consent to a notice of withdrawal if (a) lodged by a legal representative, (b) received not less than seven days before the hearing, (c) there is no concurrent application/reference, (d) there is no reason to believe it is a 'tactical ploy'; (3) the correction of clerical mistakes, and accidental slips and omissions, in written decisions and directions, if clear and obvious. Within 14 days of the administrative decision being sent, the receiving party may apply for the decision to be considered by a judge. Superseded by [[Practice Statement: Delegation of Functions to Staff and to Registrars on or after 10 June 2014  MHLO 44]].
- Guidance Booklet: Reports for Mental Health Tribunals — This booklet contains and expands on Practice Direction: Health Education and Social Care Chamber: Mental Health Cases. It was first published on 7/9/10, and was updated on 4/4/12 to reflect changes made by the Tribunal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2012.
- Guidance: References made under section 68(7) Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended) — On 22/7/10 the Deputy Chamber President issued guidance to the effect that a reference made under s68(7), triggered by the revocation of a CTO, will be treated as having lapsed if the patient subsequently is placed on a new CTO. The guidance was amended slightly on 22/9/10. The guidance also asserts that (1) ignoring the reference means that it is treated for the purposes of s68(3)(c) as if it had never been made, so that the normal s68(2) six-month duty to refer still applies; (2) if a six-month reference is made prematurely then, even if the six months will have elapsed by the time of the hearing, the Tribunal must strike out the proceedings under Rule 8(3)(a) for lack of jurisdiction; (3) a reference made under s75(1)(a), triggered by the recall of a conditionally-discharged patient, lapses if the patient subsequently is again conditionally discharged. Insofar as it relates to the lapsing of references, this policy is unlawful: PS v Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust  UKUT 143 (AAC).
- Important notice: Operation of section 77(2) MHA 1983 - disregarding withdrawn applications — On 8/12/08 the Chamber President issued a notice explaining that, until the Mental Health Act 1983 is amended in 2009, a patient who withdraws an application to the English Tribunal cannot reapply within the same period of eligibility; instead, he must ask for the original application to be reinstated. The necessary amendment came into force on 1/6/09 so this notice, although still on the Tribunals Service website, no longer applies.
- Practice Statement: Delegation of Functions to Staff and to Registrars on or after 10 June 2014  MHLO 44 — The Practice Statement sets out the functions which may be carried out by clerks and registrars at the Tribunal secretariat. It replaces Practice Statement: Delegation of functions to staff on or after 2 November 2010 (2/11/10) and a further direction (dated 14/1/13) in relation to registrars. In force 10/6/14. It was superseded by Practice Statement: Delegation of Functions to Staff and to Registrars on or after 27 April 2015  MHLO 36.
|Rules and Practice Direction
Appeals go to the English Upper Tribunal.