Indefinite detention without trial or being accused of committing a crime

The Government has announced new mental health detention plans under which people who are deemed mentally ill with a condition that cannot be treated, and who have committed no crime, can be detained in Lubyanka a mental hospital indefinitely.

The Government has concluded that it will not be able to get its controversial draft Mental Health Bill through Parliament to make these changes, because of criticism of the measures from mental health experts and civil rights groups.

So instead they are going to introduce similar measures by amending the existing Mental Health Act 1983 and Mental Capacity Act 2005.  The main difference is that patients who are locked up without their consent will be given a right to appeal. As things stand, Parliament will need to approve the amendments.

How much easier this will be for Ministers when the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill gives the government power to introduce these measures without having to obtain Parliamentary approval.  Then it won’t matter whether Parliament agrees or not. Much more efficient, you see?

Published by Owen Barder

Owen is Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. Owen was a civil servant for a quarter of a century, working in Number 10, the Treasury and the Department for International Development. Owen hosts the Development Drums podcast, and is the author Running for Fitness, the book and website. Owen is on Twitter and

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