Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| The Queen on the application of
|- and -
|Oxfordshire County Council (1)
Oxford County Court (2)
Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (The Hospital managers, The Oxford Clinic) (3)
Mr Choudhury (instructed by Oxfordshire County Council) for the 1st Defendant
Mr Cragg (instructed by) Capsticks for the 3rd Defendant
Hearing dates: 28 February 2007
Crown Copyright ©
Beatson J :
"An application for admission for treatment shall be founded on the written recommendations in the prescribed form of two registered medical practitioners, including in each case his statement that in the opinion of the practitioner the conditions set out in subsection (2) … are complied with; and each such recommendation shall include [the prescribed particulars and a statement of reasons for the opinion] specifying whether other methods of dealing with the patient are available and, if so, why they are not appropriate."
"Any application for the admission of a patient under this part of this Act which appears to be duly made and to be founded on the necessary medical recommendations may be acted upon without further proof of the signature or qualification of the person by whom the application or any such medical recommendation is made or given or of any matter of fact or opinion stated in it."
"(1) The County Court may, upon application made in accordance with the provisions of this section in respect of the patient, by order direct that the functions of the nearest relative of the patient … shall, during the continuance in force of the order, be exercisable by the applicant, or by any other persons specified in the application, being a person who, in the opinion of the court, is a proper person to Act as the patient's nearest relative and is willing to do so."
"(3) Where an application is made under section 29 for an order that the functions of the nearest relative of the patient shall be exercisable by some other person-
(a) the nearest relative shall be made a respondent to the application unless the application is made [on the ground that the patient has no nearest relative within the meaning of the Act or it is not reasonably practicable to ascertain whether he has such a relative, or who that relative is] or the court otherwise orders; and
(b) the court may order that any other person shall be made a respondent."
"[T]he County Court judge must at the earliest stage inquire whether the patient has been so served and ensure that appropriate steps are taken to secure the patient's Articles 6 and 8 rights. …. These precautions must be taken even in cases where urgent relief is sought. I accept the Official Solicitor's submission that it is difficult to conceive of circumstances in which a patient could lawfully be deprived of any opportunity to participate in proceedings. Any justification would have to address the patient's Article 6 and Article 8 rights."
"There is nothing inherently unlawful in interim injunctions made without notice. The power to make such orders is a necessary weapon in the judicial armour, enabling the court to do justice in circumstances where it is necessary to act urgently to protect the interests of a party, or where it is necessary to act without notice to a prospective defendant in order to ensure that the order of the court is effective. Obvious examples of the latter are search orders and freezing orders. There is a well developed body of law as to the proper approach of the courts to applications without notice which it is not necessary to review in this context."