Clifford Johnston & Co. has substantial experience in advising on mental health law. Our specialist lawyers are focused on protecting the rights of patients in hospital and in the community.
The work we advise on includes:
• Mental Health Tribunals.
• Hospital managers appeals.
• Community treatment orders.
• 117 (pre-discharge) and CPA meetings.
• Applications to the Court of Protection.
• Compulsory treatment and lawfulness of detention.
• Nearest relative displacement proceedings.
• Nearest relative discharge applications.
• Voluntary admissions.
• Forensic admissions.
• Consent to treatment.
• Post treatment aftercare.
We have been fighting for the rights of clients for over 35 years and we know that detention in a psychiatric unit can be a frightening and confusing experience. We stay in regular contact with our clients throughout their cases and provide a 24 hour emergency telephone advice line.
Noreen Doherty, Christopher Furbey and Patrick Harris are members of the Law Society’s Mental Health Panel and have a combined 50 years experience of work in this area.
Clifford Johnston has been awarded the Specialist Quality Mark by the Legal Aid Agency. Patients detained under the Mental Health Act are entitled to free representation at appeal hearings as part of the Public Funding Scheme.
We also undertake criminal defence work and specialise in all issues relating to mentally disordered offenders, including transfers from prison, sentencing and discharges from hospital and restriction orders.
Detention under the Mental Health Act
In the majority of cases, when people are treated in hospital, they have accepted or volunteered to be in hospital. Nonetheless there are cases when a person is detained under the Mental Health Act and treated without their consent.
If you are in detained hospital (sectioned) under the Mental Health Act 1983 you can apply to the Mental Health Tribunal to appeal the decision to detain you.
We have a Legal Aid contract with the Legal Aid Agency to allow for free representation before the Tribunal in England or Wales.
Our mental health solicitors are all accredited under the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme which qualifies them to represent clients, in all proceedings before the First Tier Tribunal. Accredited members also follow the Law Society Code of Practice for Mental Health which requires them to deal with their case personally unless exceptional circumstances arise. All of our solicitors are also members of the Mental Health Lawyers Association.
In terms of detentions under the Mental Health Act 1983 we can advise on the following:
• Section 2 – Detention for Assessment and Treatment.
• Section 3 – Detention for Treatment.
• Section 7 – Guardianship.
• Section 17A – Community Treatment Orders.
• Section 37 – Hospital Orders.
• Sections 37/41 – Hospital Orders with Restrictions.
• Sections 38, 48 and 45A – Forensic Orders.
• Section 47/49 – Transfer from Prison.