Many people can find themselves subject to detentions such as Compulsory Treatment Orders or Short-Term Detention Certificates, whether in hospital or in the community. If you are subject to any compulsory measures, you are entitled to Legal Aid to exercise your legal rights of appeal, regardless of your means. You have the right to access Legal Aid regardless of your income or savings. Your Independent Mental Health Advocacy Worker can help you to access representation from a solicitor with years of mental health legal experience. Your Independent Advocacy Worker will advocate on your behalf throughout the process, ensuring that your views are heard and your rights are upheld.
A Mental Health Tribunal is an independent organisation set up to make decisions on the compulsory care and treatment of people with mental disorders in Scotland.
The Tribunal has a President and 300 members around Scotland. There will be a group of three people – a doctor (psychiatrist), a lawyer and another person with relevant skills and experience, e.g. a nurse, social worker or someone with personal experience of mental illness, learning disability or related condition. The Tribunal must hear and read all the information about you and your case. They then decide what to do about your care and treatment.
The main role of the Tribunal is to consider and determine applications for Compulsory Treatment Orders (CTOs) under the 2003 Act. It also considers appeals against compulsory measures such as Short-Term Detention Certificates. You may be on an order which says that you must stay in hospital, you can only stay out of hospital on certain conditions, or you can be given treatment even if you do not want it. Your doctors, nurses, social workers and mental health officers should make sure you know about Independent Advocacy, and help you get it. Your Independent Advocacy Worker will ensure that your views are heard and considered at your Tribunal.