Mental health law

Photo of a smiling face in tarmacEveryone detained under the Mental Health Act is entitled legal aid to cover an application to the Mental Health Tribunal irrespective of his or her means.

  • Mental health tribunals including Community Treatment Orders
  • Claims for unlawful detention (false imprisonment)
  • Human Rights Act claims
  • Aftercare

Over the years we have pursued many injustices and points of law through the courts. Some of the most notable of these include:

R v Uxbridge County Court ex p. Binns [2000] MHLR 179: Clarified the law in relation to the powers of the County Court to make orders displacing a nearest relative

R (on the application of B) v Mental Health Review Tribunal [2003] EWHC 815(Admin): Clarified that it was lawful for a tribunal to delay the date of discharge in a case where the nearest relative has made the application provided the reason for the deferment relates to arrangements that reduce the risk of the patient behaving dangerously.

R (Juncal) v Sec of State for the Home Office [2008] EWCA Civ 869 (Appeal Court): Claimant was found unfit to plead and detained in Northern Ireland under a restriction order without limit of time without having been found to have committed any offence. It was argued that his detention was both arbitrary at common law and a breach of his human rights. The Court of Appeal found that as the claimant had probably met the criteria for detention due to mental disorder his detention was lawful. The case is being appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.

R (TF) v Sec of State for Justice [2008] EWCA Civ 1457 (Appeal Court): Court held that the Secretary of State had acted unlawfully in transferring a convicted prisoner to hospital at the end of his sentence without reasonably being satisfied that the transfer was medically justified.