The appellant was detained under section 37 of the 1983 Act as a mental patient with a restriction under section 41. He sought his release.
Held: The standard of proof in such applications remained the balance of probabilities, but that standard was flexible, and varied according to the seriousness of the allegation. The only misdirection by the tribunal had been favourable to the applicant, and the appeal was dismissed.
Rix LJ said: ‘Although there remains a distinction in principle between the civil standard and the criminal standard, the practical application of the flexible approach demonstrated in the authorities means that they are likely in certain contexts to produce the same or similar results.’ and ‘Although there is a single standard of proof on the balance of probabilities, it is flexible in its application. In particular, the more serious the allegation or the more serious the consequences if the allegation is proved, the stronger must be the evidence before a court will find the allegation proved on the balance of probabilities. Thus the flexibility of the standard lies not in any adjustment to the degree of probability required for an allegation to be proved (such that a more serious allegation has to be proved to a higher degree of probability), but in the strength or quality of the evidence that will in practice be required for an allegation to be proved on the balance of probabilities.’
The Master of the Rolls Lord Justice Rix Lord Justice Richards
 EWCA Civ 1605, Times 12-Jan-2006,  4 All ER 194,  2 WLR 850,  QB 468,  MHLR 59, (2006) 88 BMLR 59
Mental Health Act 1983 37 41 73
England and Wales
Cited – Hutchison Reid v Secretary Of State For Scotland and Another HL 5-Feb-1998
(Scotland) A detention in hospital which was capable of preventing the deterioration of a psychopathic disorder in a patient was sufficient to bring his detention within the requirement for treatment which might alleviate a condition, which phrase . .
Cited – P, Regina (on the Application of) v Mental Health Review Tribunal for East Midlands and North East Regions CA 16-Apr-2002
The issue before the tribunal was whether the disorder, if established, had resulted in abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct in the past and there was a real risk that, if treatment in hospital were discontinued, it would do so . .
Cited – Regina (on the application of H) v Mental Health Review Tribunal, North and East London Region CA 28-Mar-2001
The section placed the burden upon a specially restricted patient to prove that he was not suffering from a mental disorder of a nature or degree requiring him to be detained, before the Tribunal could order his release. This shifting of the burden . .
Cited – Addington v Texas 30-Apr-1979
(US Supreme Court) To commit an individual to a mental institution in civil proceedings, the state was required by the ‘due process’ clause of the US Constitution to prove by clear and convincing evidence the statutory preconditions to commitment. . .
Appeal from – Regina (DJ) v Mental Health Review Tribunal; Regina (AN) v Mental Health Review Tribunal (Northern Region) Admn 11-Apr-2005
Each applicant sought judicial review of the refusal of the tribunal to authorise their release from detention under the 1983 Act, saying that the Tribunal had accepted evidence to a lower standard of proof.
Held: Neither the criminal standard . .
Cited – Bater v Bater CA 1951
The wife petitioned for divorce, alleging cruelty.
Held: It had not been a misdirection for the petitioner to have to prove her case beyond reasonable doubt: ‘A high standard of proof’ was required because of the importance of such a case to . .
Cited – Clingham (formerly C (a minor)) v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; Regina v Crown Court at Manchester Ex parte McCann and Others HL 17-Oct-2002
The applicants had been made subject of anti-social behaviour orders. They challenged the basis upon which the orders had been made.
Held: The orders had no identifiable consequences which would make the process a criminal one. Civil standards . .
Cited – Secretary of State for the Home Department v Rehman HL 11-Oct-2001
The applicant, a Pakistani national had entered the UK to act as a Muslim priest. The Home Secretary was satisfied that he was associated with a Muslim terrorist organisation, and refused indefinite leave to remain. The Home Secretary provided both . .
Cited – B v Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary QBD 5-Apr-2000
The defendant appealed the making of a sex offender order under 1998 Act. The justices had found that the defendant was a sex offender within section 2(1)(a) and that he had acted on a number of occasions in a way which brought him within section . .
Cited – Hornal v Neuberger Products Ltd CA 1956
Proof Standard for Misrepresentation
The court was asked what was the standard of proof required to establish the tort of misrepresentation, and it contrasted the different standards of proof applicable in civil and criminal cases.
Held: The standard was the balance of . .
Cited – In re H and R (Minors) (Child Sexual Abuse: Standard of Proof) HL 14-Dec-1995
Evidence allowed – Care Application after Abuse
Children had made allegations of serious sexual abuse against their step-father. He was acquitted at trial, but the local authority went ahead with care proceedings. The parents appealed against a finding that a likely risk to the children had still . .
Cited – Khera v Secretary of State for The Home Department; Khawaja v Secretary of State for The Home Department HL 10-Feb-1983
The appellant Khera’s father had obtained leave to settle in the UK. The appellant obtained leave to join him, but did not disclose that he had married. After his entry his wife in turn sought to join him. The appellant was detained as an illegal . .
Cited – In re Dellow’s Will Trusts; Lloyd’s Bank v Institute of Cancer Research ChD 1964
Husband and wife, having made mutual wills each leaving their estate to the other, had been found dead in their home from coal gas poisoning. The court asked what was required to displace the presumption that the husband, the older of the two, had . .
Cited – Blyth v Blyth HL 1966
The House was asked as to the standard of proof required to establish that adultery had been condoned under the subsection.
Held: Lord Denning said: ‘In short it comes to this: so far as the grounds for divorce are concerned, the case, like . .
Cited – Regina (N) v Dr M and Others CA 6-Dec-2002
The patient refused consent to treatment in the form of injection of drugs, which her psychiatrists considered to be necessary.
Held: Treatment of this nature infringed the patients rights, and was not to be ordered without clear reason. The . .
Cited – In re Bramblevale Ltd 1970
For reasons of policy or pragmatism, the actual criminal standard of proof may be used in civil proceedings such as contempt of court. Contempt of court is a criminal offence. Accordingly, the burden of proving that the defendant is in contempt . .
Cited – Campbell v Hamlet (as executrix of Simon Alexander) PC 25-Apr-2005
(Trinidad and Tobago) The appellant was an attorney. A complaint was made that he had been given money to buy land, but neither had the land been conveyed nor the money returned. The complaint began in 1988, but final speeches were not heard until . .
Cited – Winterwerp v The Netherlands ECHR 24-Oct-1979
A Dutch national detained in hospital complained that his detention had divested him of his capacity to administer his property, and thus there had been determination of his civil rights and obligations without the guarantee of a judicial procedure. . .
Cited – B v Responsible Medical Officer, Broadmoor Hospital, Dr SS and others Admn 8-Sep-2005
Compulsory administration of treatment to detained mental patient. The court considered, but left open, the relationship between the ‘convincingly shown’ standard of proof, and the decision of the House of Lords in In re H as to the civil standard . .
Cited – HL v United Kingdom ECHR 2004
Patient’s lack of Safeguards was Infringement
The claimant had been detained at a mental hospital as in ‘informal patient’. He was an autistic adult. He had been recommended for release by the Mental Health Review Tribunal, and it was decided that he should be released. He was detained further . .
Cited – Regina on the Application of Brooks v The Parole Board CA 10-Feb-2004
The court had to decide the extent to which the Parole Board could rely on hearsay evidence in a case in which a discretionary life prisoner’s licence had been revoked. The evidence was crucial to the issue of risk.
Held: (majority) The . .
Cited – Regina v Lichniak HL 25-Nov-2002
The appellants challenged the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment imposed on them on their convictions for murder. They said it was an infringement of their Human Rights, being arbitrary and disproportionate.
Held: The case followed on . .
Cited – Regina (Sim) v Parole Board CA 18-Dec-2003
The prisoner had been sentenced to an extended term of five years imprisonment for indecent assault. He had been released, and then recalled for alleged breaches of his licence. The respondent appealed findings that such a recall was subject to . .
Cited – Hutchison Reid v The United Kingdom ECHR 20-Feb-2003
The applicant had been detained over many years after committing offences of a sexual and violent nature. After one release he reoffended and was re-detained after completing his sentence. He challenged the basis of his continued detention.
Cited – Edgington v Fitzmaurice CA 7-Mar-1885
False Prospectus – Issuers liable in Deceit
The directors of a company issued a prospectus, falsely stating that the proceeds were to be used to complete alterations to the buildings of the company, to purchase horses and vans and to develop the trade of the company. In fact it was to pay off . .
Cited – B and B v A County Council CA 21-Nov-2006
The claimants sought damages from the defendant local authority after their identities had been wrongfully revealed to the natural parents of the adoptees leading to a claimed campaign of harassment. The adopters has specifically requested that . .
Cited – Chester City Council and Another v Arriva Plc and others ChD 15-Jun-2007
The claimant council alleged that the defendant had acted to abuse its dominant market position in the provision of bus services in the city.
Held: It was for the claimant to show that the defendant had a dominant position. It had not done so, . .
Approved – In re D; Doherty, Re (Northern Ireland); Life Sentence Review Commissioners v D HL 11-Jun-2008
The Sentence Review Commissioners had decided not to order the release of the prisoner, who was serving a life sentence. He had been released on licence from a life sentence and then committed further serious sexual offences against under-age girls . .
Cited – Bento v The Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police QBD 1-Jun-2012
The claimant had been convicted of the murder of his girlfriend. On his acquittal on appeal, the police criticised the CPS decision not to retry the claimant, in effect, the claimant now said, continuing the accusation against him, and so defaming . .
Cited – Finucane, Re Application for Judicial Review SC 27-Feb-2019
(Northern Ireland) The deceased solicitor was murdered in his home in 1989, allegedly by loyalists. They had never been identified, though collusion between security forces and a loyalist paramilitary was established. The ECHR and a judge led . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Health, Litigation Practice
Updated: 16 January 2022; Ref: scu.236606