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Mental health law briefing 180 – Recognition of Irish detention orders

The power of the Court of Protection to recognise an Order made by the Irish Court authorising a detention of an individual in an English psychiatric hospital has recently been considered.[1]

A young Irish man was ordered by the Irish High Court to be transported to and detained in an English psychiatric hospital. A question arose as to whether that Order was to be enforced in England.

Schedule 3 to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 states:

“A protective measure taken in relation to an adult under the law of a country other than England and Wales is to be recognised in England and Wales if it was taken on the grounds that the adult is habitually resident in the other country”.

As long as the man was habitually resident in Ireland, the Court of Protection would in theory therefore have to recognise the Irish Court Order. In this case he was so resident, and the Court of Protection therefore had to consider whether any of the exceptions set out in paragraph 19 of Schedule 3 applied. Those exceptions include a situation where the foreign Court Order is made unfairly in breach of natural justice or if it would be contrary to public policy or inconsistent with a mandatory provision of English law.

In this case, the Court did not consider that any of the exceptions applied and that accordingly the young man was to be forcibly transferred to and treated in the hospital ordered by the Irish Court.

Andrew Parsons
© RadcliffesLeBrasseur


[1] Re M[2011] EWHC 3590 (COP)


First Chief Coroner of England and Wales Appointed

The first Chief Coroner has just been appointed: Judge Peter Thornton Q.C, a Senior Circuit Judge at the Old Bailey. He will take up the role of Chief Coroner with effect from September 2012. The post was created by the Coroners & Justice Act 2009.

It is intended to develop a national framework of rules and regulations under which Coroners will operate.

Inquests are becoming increasingly important and there is therefore likely to be further change in this key area of healthcare.


This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

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