The Court of Appeal has expedited two important appeals against decisions by Charles J, President of the Upper Tribunal, both of which will have a major impact on care and treatment of those with mental disorder. In MM Charles J held that a restricted patient with capacity to make decisions about his care and treatment could give a valid consent to a care regime that objectively deprived him or her of liberty (and thus avoid a violation of Article 5 ECHR). Together with Charles J's judgment in KC, this case began to break the logjam of forensic patients, ready to move into the community, but apparently unable to do so on the basis that a conditional discharged could not impose conditions which amounted to a deprivation of liberty. In PJ Charles J affirmed the duty of the First Tier Tribunal not to permit a state of affairs to continue if it violated the human rights of the patient. Whilst this may appear trite law, this case has the potential to expand the role of the First Tier Tribunal when it considers the statutory criteria in Mental Health Act cases, to which it has traditionally applied a fairly narrow focus. Tribunals following PJ will have to pay close attention to the detail and impact of the care plan of a patient, whether detained in hospital or subject to guardianship or supervision in the community.
PJ and MM appeal dates. Listing news: "Lord Justice Moor-Bick has directed that [C3/2016/0561 Re MM] be expedited into the court list and be heard with C3/2015/4104 Re: PJ with a combined time estimate of 2 days. It has now been imposed into the list floating over the 8th and 9th June 2016." (Email from Civil Appeals Office, 17/3/16). See MM v WL Clinic (2016) UKUT 37 (AAC),