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The Mental Health Tribunal

    The case was articulated with great clarity and skill by Mrs. Silburn (to whom we are very grateful)

    Client testimonial about Emma Silburn - Mental Health

    I can’t thank you enough for representing me at the Tribunal Hearing. Without that positive outcome I feel certain I could still be back in … lacking any impetus for change or renewal. I too enjoyed our meetings and remain optimistic that we shall not meet in relation to such circumstances again.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    I am writing to say thank you so much for helping my daughter to obtain a discharge from her Section 2 of the Mental Health Act. I know it gave her great strength and hope at a time in her life when everything was extremely stressful and traumatic for her. Thank you once again for all your help.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    This is quite a complex situation that causes significant stress & anxiety to my friend, I am helping her cope with the situation and to get a better understanding of the process. We really appreciate your service and promptness, and wish to thank you very much for your professionalism.

    Client testimonial about Kathryn Smales - Mental Health

    You are always so gentle and kind, and take care to explain things in great detail for me to understand.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    May I thank you so much. Your kindness is very much appreciated.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    Just a short note to say how much I appreciated you kind letter, following the Tribunal, which left me feeling very low. Your support, understanding, and professionalism made the nightmare of being in that 'institution' and that situation bearable.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    Thank you for your representation and best wishes, I found everyone I encountered at David Gray to be exceptional and will continue to recommend David Gray to friends in the future.

    Client testimonial about Emma Silburn - Mental Health

    Thank you for being there for me. Please accept my sincere thanks! Best Wishes.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    It was wonderful to meet you on the day and I still have not found enough words to say Thank you for all you are doing for my son.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    Thank you for your attendance at [my]Tribunal [I] wanted to let you know that you were outstanding and since then [I feel that my] mental health has improved.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    She believed in me and stood by me, even when times were difficult and I was beginning to buckle under the pressure she offered me strong shoulders.

    Client testimonial about Emma Silburn - Mental Health

    Just a note to sincerely thank you for yesterday. Without you I am sure my mother-in-law would still be subject to the Section.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    We have been on a long journey, with quite a way to go. But we are thrilled with the recent result. Thank you so much for giving us so much help and support. We're thrilled.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    Just to say many thanks for your help and support before and during my tribunal. It was a pleasure to meet you.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    Just wanted to say a quick thank you for the great work you did for my brother and especially the way you treated him with such dignity and respect.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    She made me feel a valued human being, preserved my dignity and that I was not just another case. She has a commendable understanding of mental health (MH) and if there were more people like Emma to represent those who suffer from a MH illness the world would be a more humane place.

    Client testimonial about Emma Silburn - Mental Health

    Thank you for today. My reputation means everything so trying your hardest means everything to me.

    Client testimonial about Paul Harbison - Mental Health

    Thank you for representing me. I am delighted with the outcome. I greatly appreciate the time and effort of going through with me. Please will you pass on my sincere gratitude to your colleague Emma for her dedicated approach to my case as well.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop and Emma Silburn- Mental Health

    Thank you for helping me out- I really appreciate it. You know something? I've always trusted you right from day one... you helped me out when everyone else ignored me. I like you and respect you.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    Thank you for your letter. I was thrilled at the outcome of the tribunal, your client has spoke very highly of you and the expertise you offer, so I would like to thank you for helping one of our very special and valued volunteers.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    I was very happy with the results Emma Silburn got me

    Client testimonial about Emma Silburn - Crime & Mental Health

    I just wanted to say what a privilege & a pleasure it has been to work with you on some of our shared allocations, & thank you for all your support & advice, which has been much appreciated.

    Client testimonial about Mike Bishop - Mental Health

    Emma has commendable humane qualities that should be admired. She is a bright talented solicitor who is clearly dedicated to her job and believes in doing the best for her client…which quite frankly I find exceptional.

    Client testimonial about Emma Silburn - Mental Health

    Many thanks for representing me during those times.. thanks for being there.

    Client testimonial about Paul Harbison - Mental Health

The vast majority of patients detained in Hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983 have the right to appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal if they do not think that they should be on a section. The Tribunal is an independent body who will consider the evidence and must discharge the patient if they do not find that the legal criteria to keep them on a section are met.

There are rules about when and how often an application to the Tribunal can be made depending on which section of the Mental Health Act you are subject to.

The Tribunal panel consists of three members:

  • The Judge- who is normally a qualified Solicitor or Barrister who specialises in mental health law or a full-time Judge.
  • The Tribunal Doctor- an experienced, and independent Psychiatrist who can meet with you before the Hearing to discuss your case. The Tribunal Doctor will then inform everyone else at the hearing about your discussion with him/her.
  • The Specialist Lay Member- Not a Lawyer or Doctor, but normally a social worker with experience in mental health law.

The hearing will  take place in the hospital and will be attended by:

  • The patient
  • The patient’s doctor, nurse, and social worker/CPN
  • The patient’s Solicitor
  • The Patient’s Independent Mental Health Advocate (‘IMHA’)(if they have one) and/or a relative/friend if they wish.

The patient can give evidence at the hearing if they want to.  They can choose whether to do this at the beginning or the end of the hearing and should be helped to do so by their solicitor.  The patient’s responsible clinician (usually a psychiatrist), nurse and social worker/CPN will also give evidence.  All three will have provided written reports which the patient and their solicitor will have seen before the hearing.  The solicitor, or the patient, will have the chance to ask questions of the clinical team as will the tribunal panel.

At the end of the hearing, the panel will make a decision on whether the patient should be discharged from their section or not. If you are discharged from your section you may choose to stay in a hospital voluntarily.  The Tribunal can also make recommendations about whether the patient should be transferred to a different hospital, given leave or given treatment in the community.

The team specialising in this area of work

  • Partner
  • Solicitor
  • Solicitor
  • Solicitor