On appeal from: [2017] EWCA Civ 194.


A patient subject to a hospital order together with a restriction order is liable to indefinite detention and can only be discharged by the Secretary of State or the First-tier Tribunal. A discharge may be conditional. The Supreme Court by a majority of 4 to 1 (Lord Hughes dissenting) dismissed MM’s appeal. The Mental Health Act 1983 does not permit either the FTT or the Secretary of State to order a conditional discharge of a restricted patient subject to conditions that amount to detention or a deprivation of liberty, even where the patient consents.

The power to deprive a person of his liberty is an interference with a fundamental right. The principle of legality means express language is required.  Lord Hughes, dissenting, would have held that the FtT did have the power, if it considered it right in all the circumstances, to impose conditions on the discharge of a restricted patient so long as the loss of liberty involved was not greater than that already authorised by the hospital and restriction orders.

For judgment, please download: [2018] UKSC 60
For Court’s Press Summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website (26 Jul 2018 morning session) (26 Jul 2018 afternoon session)