We specialise in judicial reviews in mental health cases. Whatever the decision or public body, and whenever there is a question of mental health law involved, we can provide you with the expert legal advice you need.
What is a judicial review?
Judicial review is a specific type of court proceedings in which a High Court judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision taken by a public body. The focus of the proceedings is not the decision itself, but the way in which it has been made. Did the public body act within its powers? Was the procedure for making the decision a fair one? Were all relevant matters taken into consideration? Were irrelevant matters discounted? These proceedings are all about the process of decision-making. In a successful case, the applicant will persuade the court that the decision-making process was flawed and that the decision should be quashed. The public body will then need to make the decision again, this time adopting a fairer procedure. This may lead to a new, fairer outcome. There are all sorts of decisions made by all sorts of public bodies that can be challenged in judicial review proceedings. Often, but not always, the decisions are about funding.
Here are examples of the types of cases on which we regularly advise:
Challenging the decision of a local authority or a clinical commissioning group (CCG) to refuse funding for mental health after-care under s117 of the Mental Health Act 1983
Challenging the decision of a health trust to transfer a patient from one another hospital to another
Challenging a decision by the Ministry of Justice to refuse a restricted patient leave from hospital
Challenging a decision by the Ministry or Justice to refuse to transfer someone from prison to a psychiatric hospital
How we can help.
We can advise on the prospects for a successful judicial review challenge to the decision in question. We can also then represent you in those judicial proceedings when an application is called for. In addition, we can advise on any alternative methods of resolving any dispute, such as using a public body’s complaints procedure or referring the matter to the relevant ombudsman. Judicial review proceedings would involve an application to the High Court on the grounds of illegality, irrationality or procedural unfairness. Legal Aid may be available to cover your costs in such proceedings, and further details regarding this and other forms of funding can be provided on request.