Mental Health Tribunals
What is a Mental Health Tribunal?
Under Section 33(3) of the Mental Health Act, 2001, since 1st November 2006 the Mental Health Tribunals Division of the Mental Health Commission is responsible for establishing mental health tribunals for patients admitted on an involuntary basis. Patients involuntarily admitted have the right to attend their mental health tribunal if they so wish.
Patients have the right to be represented at the mental health tribunal by a legal representative who is appointed by the Mental Health Commission (Section 17 Mental Health Act, 2001). The Mental Health Commission also arrange for an independent medical examination of the patient to be carried out by a Consultant Psychiatrist (Section 17 Mental Health Act, 2001).
The function of the mental health tribunal is to revoke or affirm the admission or renewal order.
Under Section 48 Mental Health Act, 2001, the mental health tribunal must consist of the following members:
- A Legal Member (a Barrister or Solicitor who will act as Chairman)
- A Lay Person
- A Consultant Psychiatrist
Mental health tribunals also consider proposed transfers to the Central Mental Hospital and proposals related to psycho-surgery.