Every detained patient has a right to a legal representative (covered by legal aid).
Legal representatives are assigned by the Commission. A patient may at any time ask for a different legal representative from the MHC’s panel, which will be accommodated, or appoint their own private solicitor. If a patient appoints their own solicitor the do at their own cost.
The Commission established an approved panel of legal representatives in accordance with the “Mental Health Legal Aid Scheme 2005”. The Commission is responsible for selection of legal representatives to the panel and maintenance of the panel. A legal representative cannot be on the panel of chairpersons. There are 75 active legal representatives on the panel as of 1 September 2023.