Tagged / Public Law

Howard Davis publishes in the highly rated journal – Public Law

Dr Howard Davis, from the Law Department in the Business School, has a piece coming out in Public Law (A* in the Excellence Research Australia journal ranking list) on the right to an open hearing in the context of mental health law. Courts and tribunals dealing with the affairs of those with serious mental health problems normally conduct their affairs in private with no access of the public or the media. This is to protect confidentiality and privacy. But private hearings go against the fundamental principle of open justice. The article explores recent developments in which mental health tribunals (which deal with questions whether someone detained in a mental hospital ought to be released) and the Court of Protection (whose concerns include sorting out the property etc of those unable to look after themselves) have both allowed some degree of publicity to their proceedings. In the tribunal case it was a patient who had been detained in Broadmore for 23 years who successfully sort a public hearing in order, he hoped, to publicise his position and his criticisms of the regime. In the COP case the application came from the media. The patient is a renowned pianist who is also autistic and there is signicant public interest in his position. The media had a limited right to publicise information gleaned from the proceedings.