Coronavirus guidance: Mental Health Tribunal hearings

The Mental Health Tribunal (MHT) confirmed yesterday that its hearings will continue as planned and, for the present, will still require three panel members to attend those hearings. However, this may change depending on the content of a contingency plan which is in the process of being finalised and the Tribunal has indicated that it is pushing for greater provision for paper hearings.

Other key aspects of yesterday’s guidance are:

  • Any request for a witness to give evidence via telephone should be made to the mhtcorrespondence email address.
  • Listing window extension requests should be submitted to mhtcasemanagementrequests, but extended windows may be part of the contingency plan.
  • Hearings will be by way of telephone conference where a hospital is in lockdown due to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • Pre-hearing medical examinations will continue but subject to circumstances on a case by case basis. These could be put on hold if all hearings proceed by telephone.

Our specialist team will continue to monitor developments in this area and will provide further updates as soon as the contingency plan and / or other changes are announced.

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