Case of J.T. v The United Kingdom [2000] Application number 00026494/95 (ECtHR)

Mental health – nearest relative – power to displace – human rights

The applicant complained under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights that she could not change her ‘nearest relative’ appointed pursuant to section 26 of the Mental Health Act 1983 during her involuntary detention in a psychiatric hospital. The government settled the claim by agreeing that the 1983 Act would be amended to provide a patient with the power to make an application to court to have the ‘nearest relative’ replaced where the patient reasonably objected to a certain person acting in that capacity. It would also be amended to provide for the exclusion of certain persons from acting as ‘nearest relative’.

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