Munjaz v Mersey Care National Health Service Trust And the Secretary of State for Health, the National Association for Mental Health (Mind) Respondent interested;: CA 16 Jul 2003

The claimant was a mental patient under compulsory detention, and complained that he had been subjected to periods of seclusion.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The hospital had failed to follow the appropriate Code of Practice. The Code was not obligatory, but following it would generally ensure that a patient’s rights were not infringed. It recognised the potential damage from seclusion, and therefore the need for proper systems for its use. The Special Hospitals had sought to operate their own procedures, reflecting their own needs. Seclusion infringes Article 8 unless it can be justified under Article 8(2). Seclusion of a detained psychiatric patient was capable of amounting to a breach of Article 3.
Ashworth were not entitled to treat as being in seclusion a large number of patients who are not in fact secluded as defined by the Code of Practice and then depart from the Code of Practice in relation to a group which was defined solely by reference to how long its members have been secluded. Airedale were not justified in keeping Mr S in seclusion from the time when it ceased to be a necessary and proportionate response to the risk he presented to others.


The Master Of The Rolls Lady Justice Hale Lord Justice Latham


[2003] EWCA Civ 1036, Times 25-Jul-2003, [2004] QB 395, [2003] Lloyds Rep Med 534, [2003] 3 WLR 1505, (2003) 74 BMLR 178, [2003] HRLR 38




European Convention on Human Rights 3 8, Mental Health Act 1983 118


England and Wales


Appeal fromS v Airedale National Health Service Trust QBD 22-Aug-2002
The patient had been detained, and then secluded within the mental hospital for 11 days. He claimed to have been subjected to inhuman treatment, and false imprisonment.
Held: His claim failed. The policy allowed the authority to confine him to . .
CitedPountney v Griffiths; Regina v Bracknell Justices, Ex parte Griffiths HL 1976
The applicant was a male nurse at Broadmoor Special Hospital. He was on duty while patients were saying goodbye to visitors. He approached the detained patient telling him to ‘come on’ and allegedly punched him on the shoulder. The patient brought . .
CitedB v Croydon Health Authority CA 30-Nov-1994
The feeding by tube of a mental patient who was unable and unwilling to consent can remain treatment, and within the decision of the doctors. In the context of whether the force-feeding an anorexic was authorised by section 63, the Court of Appeal . .
CitedRegina v Broadmoor Special Hospital Authority and Secretary of State for Department of Health ex parte S, H and D (2) CA 5-Feb-1998
Persons detained under Mental Health Acts could be subject to random non-consensual searches even if this went against medical opinion. The power to seclude a patient within the hospital is implied from the power to detain as a ‘necessary ingredient . .
CitedHutchison 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 . .
CitedIn re F (Mental Patient: Sterilisation) HL 4-May-1989
Where a patient lacks capacity, there is the power to provide him with whatever treatment or care is necessary in his own best interests. Medical treatment can be undertaken in an emergency even if, through a lack of capacity, no consent had been . .
CitedRegina (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 . .
CitedA v United Kingdom ECHR 1980
The Commission declared admissible a complaint from a Broadmoor patient who had been secluded for five weeks after a fire. A friendly settlement was reached, without admission of liability but on the basis that new guidelines for the use of . .
CitedRegina v Hallstrom and another, ex parte W (No 2) 1986
A judicial review application by a mental patient, requires the permission of a High Court judge: ‘There is . . a canon of construction that Parliament is presumed not to enact legislation which interferes with the liberty of the subject without . .
CitedRegina v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison, Ex parte Hague, Weldon v Home Office HL 24-Jul-1991
The prisoner challenged the decision to place him in segregation under Prison Rule 43. Under rule 43(1) the initial power to segregate was given to ‘the governor’. The case arose from the fact that the governor of one prison had purported to . .
CitedOsman v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-Oct-1998
Police’s Complete Immunity was Too Wide
(Grand Chamber) A male teacher developed an obsession with a male pupil. He changed his name by deed poll to the pupil’s surname. He was required to teach at another school. The pupil’s family’s property was subjected to numerous acts of vandalism, . .
CitedKeenan v The United Kingdom ECHR 3-Apr-2001
A young prisoner was known to be at risk of suicide, but nevertheless was not provided with adequate specialist medical supervision. He was punished for an offence, by way of segregation which further put him at risk.
Held: Inhuman and . .
CitedZ And Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 10-May-2001
Four children complained that, for years before they were taken into care by the local authority, its social services department was well aware that they were living in filthy conditions and suffering ‘appalling’ neglect in the home of their . .
CitedPretty v The United Kingdom ECHR 29-Apr-2002
Right to Life Did Not include Right to Death
The applicant was paralysed and suffered a degenerative condition. She wanted her husband to be allowed to assist her suicide by accompanying her to Switzerland. English law would not excuse such behaviour. She argued that the right to die is not . .
CitedHerczegfalvy v Austria ECHR 24-Sep-1992
The applicant was detained in an institution for mentally deranged offenders. While so detained he was subjected to the forcible administration of food and neuroleptics and to handcuffing to a security bed. He complained of violation of his Article . .
CitedRaninen v Finland ECHR 16-Dec-1997
The complainant had been handcuffed unjustifiably and in public but not with the intention of debasing or humiliating him and not so as to affect him sufficiently to attain the minimum level of severity.
Held: The application was rejected The . .
CitedAshingdane v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-May-1985
The right of access to the courts is not absolute but may be subject to limitations. These are permitted by implication since the right of access ‘by its very nature calls for regulation by the State, regulation which may vary in time and place . .
CitedBouamar v Belgium ECHR 29-Feb-1988
Hudoc Violation of Art. 5-1; Violation of Art. 5-4; Just satisfaction reserved; Judgment (Just satisfaction) Struck out of the list (friendly settlement)
A person detained as a juvenile in need of . .
CitedAerts v Belgium ECHR 30-Jul-1998
A person detained as a person of unsound mind should not be kept in a prison, but if the institution concerned is within the appropriate category, there is no breach of Article 5. While measures depriving a person of his liberty often involve an . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Environment, ex parte Hackney London Borough Council CA 1984
The court doubted whether the doctrine of issue estoppel is applicable in judicial review proceedings. After holding that on the facts of the case it did not arise as a defence, the court approved, by the way, the judgment at first instance which . .
See AlsoRegina v Ashworth Special Hospital Trust, ex parte Munjaz 10-Oct-2000
The claimant was detained iin a secure mental hospital. He complained of being held in seclusion for a long period, and as to the hospital’s policy.
Held: The hospital’s policy, by reducing the frequency of review of a patient’s seclusion . .
Appeal fromRegina v Ashworth Hospital Authority, Ex parte Munjaz (No 2) Admn 5-Jul-2002
The court dismissed the claimant’s complaint that the seclusion policies operated at Ashworth Special Hospital infringed his human rights. The Special Hospitals operated policies for seclusion which differed from the Code of Practice laid down under . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromRegina v Ashworth Hospital Authority (Now Mersey Care National Health Service Trust) ex parte Munjaz HL 13-Oct-2005
The claimant was detained in a secure Mental Hospital. He complained at the seclusions policy applied by the hospital, saying that it departed from the Guidance issued for such policies by the Secretary of State under the Act.
Held: The House . .
CitedKambadzi (previously referred to as SK (Zimbabwe)) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 25-May-2011
False Imprisonment Damages / Immigration Detention
The respondent had held the claimant in custody, but had failed to follow its own procedures. The claimant appealed against the rejection of his claim of false imprisonment. He had overstayed his immigration leave, and after convictions had served a . .
At Court of AppealC Munjaz v United Kingdom ECHR 20-Mar-2008
The applicant complained of his seclusion whilst being detaned at a secure mental hospital.
Held: The court referred several questions back to the parties to be answered. . .
At Court of AppealMunjaz v The United Kingdom ECHR 17-Jul-2012
The applicant was detained in a secure mental hospital. He complained that he had been held in seclusion.
Held: The complaints under articles 5 and 8 were admissible, but there had been no violation of the applicant’s rights in these . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Health

Updated: 07 June 2022; Ref: scu.184769