Mental health and tribunal law: Part 2  Section 72 of the Mental Health Act

by Dr Sanjay Khurmi


Last reviewed: July 2018


Mental health tribunals have the potential to be difficult and challenging.


Tribunals lie at the interface between psychiatry and the law, and use concepts which are not frequently used in clinical practice.


The meanings of these concepts are rarely taught during psychiatric training and can leave clinicians ill prepared for the scrutiny of the tribunal.


This module will primarily aid clinicians facing mental health tribunals within England. The aim of the module is to demystify the medico-legal aspects of tribunals by reviewing the law (section 72 MHA 1983) and key factors they consider in reaching their decision.


The module presents a mock tribunal to aid learning, where you will be asked to follow the case history of a patient with paranoid schizophrenia. You will be presented with typical questions from the tribunal, and given an opportunity to respond. Model answers are also provided. The statutory criteria, legal definitions and case law will be discussed as part of the answers. 


Please note that the module does not aim to account for all questions asked in tribunals but it will provide you with a framework to address the key issues.


Start the module



If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Mental health and tribunal law: Part 1 – an introduction by Dr Sanjay Khurmi


Human rights and the Human Rights Act 1998 – implications for psychiatrists by Dr Martin Curtice and Dr Richard Symonds


FREDA – A human rights-based approach to clinical practice by Dr Martin Curtice, Dr Richard Symonds and Dr Tim Exworthy



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