The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has been granted leave by the Court of Appeal to exercise its function as amicus curiae in a case involving the rights of persons detained in mental health hospitals to challenge detention orders.
The case of AB v The Clinical Director of St Loman’s Hospital, HSE, The Minister for Health and the AG concernedan application to the High Court by an individual and his lawyers arguing that there was no provision under the Mental Health Acts to apply to have a reconvening of the Mental Health Tribunal in order to conduct a review of the legality of the individuals detention, where his circumstances have changed.
The High Court delivered the judgement in May of 2017 holding that a person detained under the Mental Health Acts for a lengthy period was entitled to challenge their detention at reasonable intervals under Art. 5(4) of the European Convention on Human rights. The absence of such a provision under the Mental Health Acts was incompatible with the obligations of the State under the European Convention of Human rights. Under the Mental Health Acts, the only existing mechanism to review the lawfulness of such a detention is to appeal to the Circuit Court immediately following a renewal order. Click here for further analysis of the case in the PILA Bulletin.
Under Section 10(2)(e) of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014, the Commission’s functions include the ability to apply to appear as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) before superior courts in proceedings concerned with the human or equality rights of any person. The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission will submit domestic and international human rights standards for the assistance of the Court in the forthcoming proceedings.
To read the judgment from AB v The Clinical Director of St Loman’s Hospital, HSE, The Minister for Health and the AG click here.