a legal member (a barrister or solicitor who will act as Chairperson)
a consultant psychiatrist
a lay member
The legal member is either a barrister or a solicitor. As Chairperson they are in charge of the administration of the tribunal. They make sure that everyone has had an opportunity to speak and informs the patient of the tribunal’s decision.
The consultant psychiatrist, who sits on the tribunal, will not be involved in the patient’s care. They can explain the medical information to the other members of the tribunal, and this assists the tribunal in making its decision.
The lay member is a member of the public with knowledge or experience of mental health services or mental health legislation. This person cannot be a nurse, a doctor or a lawyer (of more than 7 years’ experience).
While the Commission appoints the tribunal members to each case, the tribunal are independent of the Commission and have no connection with the approved centre where the patient is detained.