2012 09 Mental Health

Monday 1 October 2012

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EC v Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust [2012] UKUT 178 (AAC) (Judge Rowland): An appeal and applications for judicial review against tribunals' refusals to hear arguments in relation to extra-statutory recommendations were dismissed. The tribunal held there is no legal right to advance these arguments as this is a sufficient reason for not making an extra-statutory recommendation which can be implied if not stated, and the refusal to consider a extra-statutory recommendation is neutral rather than disadvantageous to the patient. Further a flawed extra-statutory should have no effect because of its legal status. The judge made further guidance including the tribunal procedure generally in relation to extra-statutory recommendations. (click here for transcript).

The applicant was represented by Roger Pezzani.

GP v Derby City Council [2012] EWHC 1451 (Admin) (HHJ Pelling QC): On an application for habeas corpus the court held that consultation with nearest relative prior to detention under section 3 Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended) would not have involved unreasonable delay so, in the absence of any other justification, the failure to consult resulted in unlawful detention. (click here for transcript).

Parascineti v Romania (Appn no: 32060/05). The European Court of Human Rights held that the conditions in an overcrowded psychiatric ward with very poor standards of hygiene led to inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of Article 3 (No transcript in English yet available).

DC v Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust [2012] UKUT 92 (AAC) (Judge Jacobs): The Upper Tribunal held that the FTT cannot grant a deferred conditional discharge until (i) it has found, on the balance of probabilities, that the patient should not be detained but should be subject to recall, and (ii) it has drafted the conditions for the discharge. The tribunal further held that a deferred conditional discharge is not a device for gathering information on whether a conditional discharge would be possible or what conditions might be appropriate. On the facts the decision to adjourn was correct. (click here for transcript).

The applicant was represented by Roger Pezzani.

MS v UK 24527/08 [2012] ECHR 804. The European Court of Human Rights held that the conditions of the applicant's detention under section 136 Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended) in a police cell beyond the 72-hour limit, while waiting for transfer to a medium secure unit, were an affront to human dignity and reached the threshold of degrading treatment for the purposes of Article 3. The court further held there was no breach of Article 13 as an appropriate remedy was available in domestic law, notwithstanding the fact that he had been unsuccessful. Compensation of €3,000 was awarded. (click here for transcript).

R (on the application of (1) MM (2) DM) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2012] EWHC 2106 (Admin) (Edwards-Stuart J): A grant of permission for judicial review of the process where the Secretary of State assessed the eligibility of persons with mental health problems for Employment and Support Allowance. It was arguable that the reasonable adjustments required by the Equality Act 2010 included the early obtaining of independent medical evidence where the documents submitted with the claim indicated that the applicant suffered from mental health problems. (click here for transcript).

Nikitins v Latvia (2012) (Ouseley J): In an extempore judgment the court held that extradition was disproportionate under Article 8 where the offence was not serious and there was psychiatric evidence that the extraditee's wife, who had mental-health issues, would not be able to care for their young child in his absence.

S v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 1939 (QB) (Lang J): The court held that the detention pending deportation of a Togolese national who suffered severe mental health problems had been unlawful during the periods in which the Home Secretary had failed to apply her own policy in relation to the detention of the mentally ill as set out in the "Enforcement Instructions and Guidance" and it was apparent that there was no realistic prospect of his removal because of non-cooperation by the Togolese authorities. (click here for transcript).

The Claimant was represented by David Jones.

DD v (1) Durham County Council (2) Middlesbrough City Council [2012] EWHC 1053 (QB)(Eady J): An application for permission to issue a claim under the s 139 of the Mental Health Act 1983 for false imprisonment and for breach of human rights was refused where there was no real prospect of establishing liability against the relevant approved mental health practitioners (AMHP). The court held the purpose of s 145 of the Mental Health Act 1983 was to ensure there would be a local authority available to stand in the shoes of any AMHP against whom a claim was made and there was nothing in s 145(1AC) to suggest that an AMHP practitioner could act only on behalf of a local authority by which he was employed.(click here for transcript).

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