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Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Section 219 - Duration of direction under section 217

The section provides that a hospital transfer direction, made in respect of an individual remanded by a magistrates’ court, ceases to have effect in certain circumstances. The direction ceases to have effect at the end of the remand period, unless it has already ceased to have effect, or when the individual is committed in custody to the Crown Court for trial (or otherwise dealt with).

If the magistrates’ court is satisfied that the person is no longer suffering from the disorder which precipitated the direction, or that it is more likely than not that no serious physical or psychological harm to the person or serious physical harm to others would result from the person ceasing to be provided with treatment as an in-patient, or on the basis that effective treatment for the individual’s disorder can no longer be provided, it may direct that the direction will cease to have effect. The court can make this decision even if the period of remand has not expired or if the individual has been committed to the Crown Court.

The magistrates’ court may also further remand the individual in their absence, unless the individual has not appeared before the court within the previous six months. The Court may also conduct a preliminary enquiry and commit the individual to trial in his or her absence, on the basis of oral or written medical evidence that the individual is unable to take part in proceedings, and the individual is represented by counsel or a solicitor who is given the opportunity of being heard.

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