Joint Committee On Human Rights Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


4.  Letter from The Law Society

RE: PROPOSAL FOR DRAFT REMEDIAL ORDER TO AMEND MENTAL HEALTH ACT 1983, SS 72 AND 73

  I am writing in my capacity as Secretary to the Mental Health and Disability Committee of the Law Society, further to Jean Corston's letter requesting comments to your Committee on the Draft Remedial Order. This matter was discussed by the Mental Health and Disability Committee on Tuesday 18 September. The collective view of the Committee was that, in terms of the limited inquiry on the remedial order itself, that the remedial order achieves its purpose in resolving the issue of incompatibility with Article 5(1) and 5(4) of the European Convention on Human Rights (as per Court of Appeal decision in R (H) v Mental Health Review Tribunal, North and East London Region).

  We understand that wider issues of mental health law and policy are not included within the consultation. However, there are two process and procedural issues that concern the Committee. The first is the treatment of the declaration of incompatibility and subsequent draft remedial order as a "non-urgent case". The Committee's view is that the continued detention and deprivation of an individual's liberty is indeed an urgent issue and should be treated as such. Secondly, the Committee would be interested to know what the criteria for urgent and non-urgent cases is, and what the procedure would be to rectify the domestic legislation in an urgent case.

  If the later two points are outside of the remit of the Joint Committee on Human Rights at this time, I would be grateful if you could advise me on where these concerns might usefully be taken.

Philip King

Policy Adviser: Mental Health, Disability and Older People


 
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