Kent County Council, ex parte Marston [1997] (unreported) (CA)

Guardianship – Mental Health Act 1983 – implied powers – best interests – human rights

Section 7 >Mental Health Act 1983< confers an implied power on a guardian to act in the best interests of a patient, which goes beyond the express powers contained in section 8. The precise scope of the implied power was not defined y the court, but precluded an authority behaving ‘in a totalitarian fashion’. Restricting a relative’s access to a patient in his or her best interests was not a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (of liberty, freedom of association and respect for private and family life).

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