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The Mental Health Act 1983 is an Act with exceptional reach. It is a mechanism by which the state can take control of those with mental disorders which place them, or others, at risk. Its use can save lives but detention under the Act is also one of the most intrusive interventions in a person's life.
The Mental Health Tribunal Handbook provides a comprehensive guide to the relevant provisions of the Mental Health Act 1983, its Code of Practice and its interaction with the Mental Capacity Act 2005, with particular reference to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, the Tribunal Procedure Rules 2008 and domestic and European case-law.
Practitioners representing clients in the mental health tribunal need a thorough understanding of the legal and regulatory framework governing the care, treatment and detention of patients. But they also need to understand mental disorder, how to deal with psychiatric reports and, crucially, the importance of building a relationship of trust with the client in order to present the best legal representation.
The authors have many years' experience both representing clients and sitting on the tribunal panel. With a combined legal and medical background they are uniquely placed to guide practitioners through the procedural steps of taking a case from initial instructions through to hearings and, where necessary, to appeals to the Upper Tribunal. There is guidance on psychiatric concepts, expert witnesses and reports and advice on preparation, effective communication and skilled advocacy throughout the tribunal process.