R(JB) v Haddock, Rigby and Wood
Treatment pursuant to section 58 MHA 1983 only had to be medically or therapeutically necessary in the light of available medical evidence to be lawful. It is not necessary to specify the precise nature, whether as a matter of classification or diagnosis, or the form or forms of mental disorder it was intended to treat.
The Appeal Court upheld the High Court’s decision.
Michael Stone v South East Coast strategic health authority and others
After Michael Stone’s conviction for murder, the relevant authorities commissioned an inquiry into his care, treatment and supervision prior to the commission of the offence. Stone co-operated with the inquiry and gave full access to his medical, probation and other records.
The strategic health authority resolved to publish the final report in full: Stone claimed that to do so would breach his human rights and in particular, he wanted to prevent intimate personal information about him appearing in the media.
The High Court ruled that the report could be published in full. It said that although Stone had a right to privacy, that right was outweighed by a number of other factors including the fact that it was in the public interest to publicise what if anything had gone wrong in his case, what steps might be recommended to address any identified inadequacies and to enable lessons to be learned from the case.
In fact there was a compelling case in favour of publication in full.
Michael Stone was refused legal aid to appeal the decision. The report has now been published in full.
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Jean-Luc Riviere v France
A violation of article 3 ECHR occurred if a prisoner suffering mental illness was not detained and cared for in a hospital facility. In this case R had been detained without medical supervision, despite a diagnosis of chronic mental illness, and this amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment.
R(OS) v home secretary
OS challenged the secretary of state’s refusal to consent to him having unescorted community leave, arguing he had given undue weight to the patient’s immigration status (a deportation order had been issued) when assessing the risk that OS would abscond.
The High Court upheld the secretary of state’s decision, stating he was entitled to attach weight to the risk OS would abscond, which was increased by the possibility of deportation.
Adam Hartrick, Partner, Hempsons Solicitors