Case details

Secretary of State for Justice (Respondent) v MM (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2017/0212

Case summary


Whether a detained mental health patient with capacity should be permitted to offer his consent to the First Tier Tribunal imposing conditions as part of his conditional discharge, where the proposed conditions satisfy the objective elements of a deprivation of liberty for the patient.


The appellant, MM, is is a patient with a diagnosis of mild learning disability and autistic spectrum disorder, whose behaviours are described as including pathological fire starting. He was convicted of arson in April 2001 and was detained in hospital under section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983 ("MHA"), with restrictions imposed under s.41 MHA. In 2006 he was conditionally discharged under s.73 MHA but his behavior deteriorated and, in April 2007, he was recalled to hospital. MM applied for conditional discharge in May 2015 and external expert evidence suggested that discharge conditional on MM’s compliance with his care plan would be appropriate. The First Tier Tribunal refused his application on the basis that discharge conditional on compliance with the care plan was not permissible as it contravened the principle that a person cannot have his right to liberty taken away unless that is the clear effect of a statute, despite the fact that there would be consent from all parties.

Judgment appealed

[2017] EWCA Civ 194





Secretary of State for Justice



Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Hughes, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones

Hearing start date

26 Jul 2018

Hearing finish date

26 Jul 2018

Watch hearing
26 Jul 2018 Morning session Afternoon session