Man challenges orders extending detention at psychiatric facility

Mental Health Tribunal has not given proper reasons for detention, court told

A man with a mental health condition has brought a High Court challenge over a decision extending his detention in a psychiatric facility to next July. He has been involuntarily detained under the Mental Health Act in the facility for some two years now and claims the Mental Health Tribunal failed to give proper reasons for the extension of his detention.

The man, who cannot be identified, is aged in his late 30s, has paranoid schizophrenia and has a history of both voluntary and involuntary psychiatric admissions.

The events that led to his most recent admission occurred when he went off his medication, became paranoid, had hallucinations involving hearing voices and thoughts of burning down his home.

The court heard he has been stable and well following his admission but there are concerns about his being discharged into the community.


The admission orders have been renewed on a number of occasions since he was first admitted by a three-person Mental Health Tribunal, appointed by the Mental Health Commission.

Following a hearing earlier this year, a tribunal decided by a two-to-one majority to renew the orders for admissions as an involuntary patient to July, with the matter reviewed again in May.

In his High Court proceedings against the tribunal, the man claims no proper reasons were given by the tribunal for its decision.

Ciaran Craven SC , for the man, said his client simply does not know, arising from the tribunal decision, what he is required to do in order to secure his release.

The man wants various reliefs including an order quashing the decision extending his detention.

He claims the tribunal’s failure to give reasons for its decision amounts to a breach of his rights to natural and Constitutional justice and is unreasonable and irrational.

The Mental Health Commission is a notice party to the application.

On Monday, Mr Justice Charles Meenan directed that the application for leave to bring the judicial review challenge be made on notice to the respondent and returned the matter to next week.