Munira Ali: Examining the dissolution of the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ inquiry into mental health and deaths in prisons: another missed opportunity?

The issues relating to imprisonment of individuals with mental health problems in the UK has attracted considerable attention, as the number of self-inflicted deaths has risen to the highest number since records began in 1978. With a rate of one prison suicide every three days, the director of the Howard League described the current rate […]

Coroners inquest enough to satisfy Article 2 in mental health suicide case

R (Antoniou) v (1) Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust; (2) Secretary of State for Health; (3) NHS England [2013] EWHC 3055 (Admin) – read judgment Where a patient, detained in hospital under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983, takes their own life, Article 2 imposes procedural obligations on the State […]

Mental health detention powers must be reviewed urgently, says Parliamentary Committee – Lucy Series

The House of Commons Health Committee has published a report (PDF) following its inquiries into the Mental Health Act 2007.  The MHA 2007 introduced several amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA, as amended), some of which were very controversial at the time and continue to be so now.  The Health Committee’s report follows post-legislative […]

New Guide to Mental Health Advocacy and Human Rights

A quick post to draw your attention to the British Institute of Human Rights’ excellent  new publication, Mental Health Advocacy and Human Rights: Your Guide (PDF). The Guide is aimed at non-lawyers, is attractively presented and looks very useful indeed. From the BIHR launch site: This Mental Health Awareness week, BIHR is pleased to launch Mental Health […]

European Court got it right on mental health detention delay – Martha Spurrier

This piece is in response to Rosalind English’s post on this blog arguing that in M.S. v United Kingdom the European Court extended to far the ambit of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which protects against torture, and inhuman or degrading treatment. This post argues that the European Court’s ruling is […]

Delay in transferring mental health patient for treatment amounted to “inhumane treatment”

M.S. v United Kingdom, 3 May 2012 – read judgment In a ruling revealing stark differences between the UK courts and the Strasbourg court’s approach to the threshold for Article 3 treatment, Strasbourg has ruled that the detention of a mentally ill man in police custody for more than three days breached his rights under that […]

Analysis | Rabone and the rights to life of voluntary mental health patients – Part 2/2

This is the second of two blogs on the recent Supreme Court case of Rabone and another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust [2012] UKSC 2 . Part 1 is here. In my previous blog on the Supreme Court’s judgment in Rabone I discussed the central feature of the case, the extension of the operational […]

Analysis | Rabone and the rights to life of voluntary mental health patients – Part 1/2

Rabone and another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust [2012] UKSC 2 – Read judgment  (On appeal from [2010] EWCA Civ 698  and [2009] EWHC 1827 ) At first sight, Article 2 – the ‘right to life’ – seems to be a prohibition on extra-judicial executions and state-sponsored death squads. It does, of course have a […]

Unlawful mental health detention – who is to blame?

TTM (By his Litigation Friend TM) v London Borough of Hackney, East London NHS Foundation Trust; Secretary of State for Health –  Read judgment The Court of Appeal has ruled that the local authority, but not the detaining hospital, was liable to pay compensation to a person who had been unlawfully detained under Section 3 […]

Man detained by police under mental health law was not denied access to justice

Seal v United Kingdom (Application no. 50330/07) – Read judgment The European Court of Human Rights has rejected the claim of a man detained by the police for 9 days under mental health law. Despite legislation deliberately making it difficult to sue authorities carrying out mental health functions, the court ruled that the law did […]

Specialist Mental Health Courts are a good idea which may never happen

The Ministry of Justice is a step closer to introducing specialist mental health courts, which would work within the criminal justice system to identify and assess offenders with mental health issues, and ensure that offenders received appropriate intervention. Similar courts have been widespread in the United States for around a decade. They are considered to be […]

Court of Appeal rules on mental health institutions’ obligations to voluntary patients

(1) Richard Rabone (In his own Right & as Personal Representative of the Estate of Melanie Rabone, Deceased) (2) Gillian Rabone(In her own Right) Appellants v Pennine Care NHS Trust 21 June 2010 [2010] EWCA Civ 698 – read judgment Court of Appeal rules that health trusts did not have operational obligations under Article 2 […]

International human rights can help reverse yet another heavy blow on sexual and reproductive health

Koldo Casla  of the Policy, Research and Training Manager of Just Fair @JustFairUK, an organisation that monitors and advocates economic and social rights in the UK Women’s sexual and reproductive rights are not safe and accessible in all corners of the United Kingdom: see Rosalind English’s post on the Northern Irish situation here and here. […]