In this response to the Tribunal Procedure Committee the Law Society strongly opposes proposals to:
- Abolish pre-hearing medical assessments in the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT)
- Significantly restrict access to oral hearings in references to the Tribunal by hospitals and the Secretary of State.
The proposals reflect the pressure on the senior judiciary to reduce the cost of running the MHT in a time of soaring detention rates for mental illness. Meaningful protection of patient rights, and the proper scrutiny of the detention criteria by medical professionals in all cases, is essential to an effective Tribunal system for society’s most vulnerable and the safety of the public, the Society says.