Paper reference hearings for hospital-based patients. TPC, 'Reply to Consultation and Further Consultation on possible amendments to the TPR regarding proposed changes to the way that the FTT decides cases referred to the Tribunal pursuant to s.68 MHA' (consultation from 19/12/23 to 13/2/24)

— The Tribunal Procedure Committee seem aware that paper hearings are inferior to oral hearings and that their proposal would undermine the important statutory protection provided by automatic tribunal references, so now propose to co-opt legal representatives into the so-called "safeguarding measures". Maybe it is hoped that representatives who object on principle will not bother to respond yet again, and other representatives might be happy to receive the same L1+L2 fixed fee (£450) for advising on a potential paper hearing as for fully preparing for an oral hearing. The proposal is "to allow the Tribunal to make a decision on a reference hearing, in respect of a patient detained in hospital aged 18 or over, with capacity and is legally represented, and who has made a written request that they do not wish to attend or be represented at a hearing of their reference, and the Tribunal is satisfied that the patient has the capacity to make that decision".
Full details available at:,_%27Reply_to_Consultation_and_Further_Consultation_on_possible_amendments_to_the_TPR_regarding_proposed_changes_to_the_way_that_the_FTT_decides_cases_referred_to_the_Tribunal_pursuant_to_s.68_MHA%27_(consultation_from_19/12/23_to_13/2/24)?id=290124-2010
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