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Supreme Court judgment in PJ (Amy Street for the Welsh Ministers)

17th December 2018

The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in the case of Welsh Ministers v PJ [2018] UKSC 66.

The case is about community treatment orders under the Mental Health Act 1983 and deprivation of liberty. The Supreme Court decided that it is not lawful to impose conditions under a community treatment order which amount to a deprivation of liberty. Although this was a case which started in a Welsh tribunal, the case applies to both England and Wales. The Supreme Court’s decision is consistent with the Mental Health Act Codes of Practice for both England (which says that conditions must not deprive a patient of liberty) and Wales (which is silent on the particular point).

Amy Street represented the Welsh Ministers, led by Richard Gordon QC, instructed by Joanna Corbett-Simmons and Allan Wilson at Blake Morgan LLP.

Link to judgment and related material:

In the Court of Appeal, PJ  was heard together with the case of Secretary of State for Justice v MM, which addressed the same question in relation to conditional discharges also under the Mental Health Act 1983. The Supreme Court heard the appeals separately but also reached the equivalent conclusion in MM – ie that a conditional discharge may not have conditions which deprive a patient of liberty. Link to MM judgment and related material:

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