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Mental health: England and Wales

Coronavirus Bill – in the House of Commons at 10:00 pm on 23rd March 2020.

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Amendments made: 15, page 92, line 39, after paragraph 10 insert—

“Constitution and proceedings of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales

10A (1) Sub-paragraph (2) applies if the President of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales (“the Tribunal”), or another member of the Tribunal appointed by the President for the purpose referred to in paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 to the 1983 Act, considers that it is impractical or would involve undesirable delay for the Tribunal to be constituted, for the purposes of any proceedings or class or group of proceedings under the 1983 Act, by at least three members as provided for in that paragraph.

(2) The President, or that other member, may instead appoint to constitute the Tribunal, for the purposes of those proceedings or that class or group of proceedings—

(a) one of the legal members of the Tribunal, or

(b) one of the legal members of the Tribunal and one other member who is not a legal member.

(3) Where the Tribunal is constituted by one or two members under sub-paragraph (2)(a) or (b), section 65(3) has effect as if the reference to any three or more of its members were a reference to that one member or those two members (as the case may be).

(4) Paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 to the 1983 Act does not apply where the Tribunal is constituted by one or two members under sub-paragraph (2)(a) or (b).

If the Tribunal is constituted by two members, the legal member is to be the chairman.

(5) Where the Tribunal is constituted by a single member under sub-paragraph (2)(a), in rule 11(2) of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales Rules 2008 (S.I. 2008/2705) (“the 2008 Rules”), the reference to the chairman is to be read as a reference to that member.

(6) Where the Tribunal is constituted under sub-paragraph (2) without a medical member, rule 20(1) and (2) of the 2008 Rules does not apply.

10B (1) The Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales Rules 2008 (“the 2008 Rules”) have effect subject to this paragraph.

(2) The Tribunal may determine an application or reference without a hearing if it considers that—

(a) holding a hearing is impractical or would involve undesirable delay,

(b) having regard to the nature of the issues raised in the case, sufficient evidence is available to enable it to come to a decision without a hearing, and

(c) to dispense with a hearing would not be detrimental to the health of the patient.

(3) The Tribunal must, as soon as reasonably practicable, give notice to each party of—

(a) its decision to dispense with a hearing under sub-paragraph (2), and

(b) the earliest time at which it might determine the application or reference in accordance with that sub-paragraph (which must be such as to afford the parties reasonable notice).

(4) Where an application or reference is to be determined in accordance with sub-paragraph (2)—

(a) in rules 4, 15 and 20 of the 2008 Rules, references to a hearing (or its commencement) are to be read as references to the time notified under sub-paragraph (3)(b);

(b) in rule 24(1) and (2) of the 2008 Rules, references to the start of the hearing are to be read as references to the determination of the application or reference;

(c) in rule 28 of the 2008 Rules—

(i) paragraph (1) does not apply, and

(ii) in paragraph (3), references to the hearing are to be read as references to the determination of the application or reference.

(5) The Tribunal may at any time reverse a decision to dispense with a hearing under sub-paragraph (2), and if it does so it must give notice to each party and make such consequential directions as it considers appropriate.

(6) Expressions used in this paragraph and in the 2008 Rules have the same meaning as in those Rules.

10C (1) If the President of the Tribunal is temporarily unable to discharge the functions of the office, the President of the Welsh Tribunals may from time to time nominate another legal member of the Tribunal to act as the temporary deputy of the President of the Tribunal for the purpose of discharging those functions generally or certain of them specifically.

(2) While such an nomination remains in force, any reference to the President of the Tribunal in the 1983 Act or any other enactment or instrument is to be read accordingly.”

This amendment enables the jurisdiction of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales to be exercised by a single member or a two-member panel, rather than a panel of at least three members; enables the Tribunal to deal with proceedings on paper rather than at a hearing in suitable cases; and enables the nomination of a temporary deputy if the President of the Tribunal is temporarily unable to act in the office.

Amendment 16, page 93, line 11, after paragraph 13 insert—

“14 Paragraph 10A(3) to (6) continues to apply after the end of a period for which it has effect in relation to proceedings that are, when the period ends, before a constitution of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales appointed under sub-paragraph (2) of that paragraph.

15 Paragraph 10B continues to apply after the end of a period for which it has effect in relation to any application or reference with respect to which, when the period ends, a decision to dispense with a hearing has been notified by the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales under sub-paragraph (3) of that paragraph and remains current.

16 Paragraph 10C continues to apply after the end of a period for which it has effect in relation to any nomination of a temporary deputy that is in force when the period ends.”—(Penny Mordaunt.)

This amendment makes transitional provision in connection with Amendment 15.

Schedule 7, as amended, agreed to.

Schedules 8 to 17 agreed to.