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The Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986

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Discharge and variation of orders under Article 36N.I.

37.—(1) An order made under Article 36 in respect of a patient may be discharged by the county court upon application made—

(a)by the person having the functions of the nearest relative of the patient by virtue of the order;

(b)where the order was made on the ground specified in paragraph (3)(a) or (b) of that Article, or where the person who was the nearest relative of the patient when the order was made has ceased to be his nearest relative, by the nearest relative of the patient.

(2) An order made under Article 36 in respect of a patient may be varied by the county court, on the application of the person having the functions of the nearest relative by virtue of the order or on the application of an approved social worker, by substituting for the first-mentioned person any person who, in the opinion of the court, is a proper person to exercise those functions, being a person who is willing to do so.

(3) If the person having the functions of the nearest relative of a patient by virtue of an order under Article 36 dies, paragraphs (1) and (2) shall apply as if for any reference to that person there were substituted a reference to any relative of the patient, and until the order is discharged or varied under those paragraphs the functions of the nearest relative under this Order shall not be exercisable by any person.

(4) An order under Article 36 shall, unless previously discharged, cease to have effect at the expiration of the period, if any, specified under paragraph (4) of that Article or where no such period is specified—

(a)if the patient was on the date of the order liable to be detained for treatment or subject to guardianship under this Part, or becomes so liable or subject within the period of 3 months beginning with that date, when he ceases to be so liable or subject (otherwise than on being transferred by virtue of Article 28);

(b)if the patient was not on the date of the order, and has not within the said period of 3 months become, so liable or subject, at the expiration of that period.

(5) The discharge or variation under this Article of an order under Article 36 shall not affect the validity of anything previously done in pursuance of the order.

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