Mental Health Law

<< Under construction.  More resources will be added in the coming weeks / months. >>

LAW England and Wales

  • Mental Health Law – a quick, online reference tool to the Mental Health and Capacity Acts as well as to caselaw and other guidance.

LAW Scotland

LAW Northern Ireland

LAW Isle of Man


The following cases are just some of those relevant to policing and mental health, but include the major cases used in order to justify the opinions offered in these blogs posts.  I will add others to this page as they become relevant.

There was a violation of Article 3 where a person was detained in a police cell under s136 for a prolonged period after it was identified that he was in dire need of urgent psychiatric treatment.   The fact that there was no intention to degrade and no actual prolonged physical or mental consequence was not relevant.

Rules that a code of practice is not ‘mere advice’ but nor is it ‘binding instruction’.  It is statutory guidance which must be followed unless there are ‘cogent reasons for departure’.

The statutory framework for removal of patients to a place of safety is ss135/6 MHA and the framework for detention for urgent assessment is s4 MHA.  No power to remove someone to hospital under the MCA.

Mental Health Trusts owe a duty of care to patients detained under the Mental Health Act and those at risk of suicide.  Failing to take adaquate steps to mitigate those risks is a breach of Article 2 of the ECHR.

Mental Health Trusts owe a duty of care under Article 2 ECHR to voluntary patients as well as detained patients where they are a suicide risk; after they negligently agreed to a period of leave for a patient at high risk of suicide who subsequently killed herself.

In order to force entry to a premises to re-detain an AWOL patient, the police can only use s17 PACE if they have a genuine belief that life is imminently at risk.  Outside of these circumstances, a warrant under s135(2) is required.

The police were entitled to use force to enter a hotel room with the consent of the hotel owner and detain someone under the Mental Health Act despite the fact that the occupant of the room opposed by entry and they did not have a warrant under s135(1).

The CPS discriminated against a victim of crime by dropping a case of GBH with intent, because of the fact that they assumed the victim unreliable because they suffered from schizophrenia.  All victims must be treated as individuals, on a case by case basis.


6 thoughts on “Mental Health Law

  1. I’d missed this page – unless it’s just appeared.
    Either way – good stuff. Keep the resources coming. I find having a page like this is one of the best ways to keep my blog useful. I’m sure you’ll find the same.

  2. This is very useful, I am currently setting up a group website, can I put some of the information on there? I will say that the info was taken from this site.

    Many Thanks,

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