Prove It

This is a case from 2011. H was found guilty of manslaughter and ordered to be detained in a hospital. H’s treatment in hospital with anti-psychotic medication for his schizophrenia really helped his mental state. Over ten years later, he applied to the Mental Health Tribunal to be discharged under the Mental Health Act 1983. Despite doctors’ evidence that H didn’t satisfy the conditions necessary for detention under the Act, the tribunal decided that H shouldn’t be discharged from hospital. H then started court proceedings, to challenge that decision.

The Court of Appeal decided that section 73 of the Mental Health Act was incompatible with Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to liberty. That was because H had to prove that the criteria for admission to hospital were not satisfied. It had to be shown that a person was suffering from a mental disorder that warranted their detention.

The European Convention on Human Rights doesn’t prevent people being detained if it’s for public protection or if someone is of “unsound” mind. But if they are detained, the conditions of detention have to be fair.


This story is a short summary of a legal decision. You can read the full text here