Warning on seeking medical evidence

Social workers and mental health professionals should refuse to
provide expert evidence in asylum cases if they feel it is
inappropriate, a solicitor urged last week.

Tim Barnden, of south London-based solicitors Glazer Delmar, warned
that some solicitors were seeking medical and other reports to
strengthen their cases when it was sometimes unnecessary.

Speaking at a conference on mental health and unaccompanied minors
in London, Barnden said some solicitors were under a
“misapprehension” that some of their clients experienced mental
health problems.

He said: “You may find solicitors coming to you seeking to
medicalise their client. You should not be shy about turning round
and saying that it is not relevant. Truth is always the best
building block for a case.”

He added:”No psychiatrist or psychologist should be diagnosing an
illness that is not there. It is clearly unethical and it does not
help the client.”

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