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The Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986

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Interim hospital ordersN.I.

45.—(1) Where a person is convicted before the Crown Court of an offence punishable with imprisonment other than an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law, or is convicted by a court of summary jurisdiction of an offence punishable on summary conviction with imprisonment, and the court before or by which he is convicted is satisfied, on the oral evidence of a medical practitioner appointed for the purposes of Part II by [F1RQIA] and on the written or oral evidence of one other medical practitioner—

(a)that the offender is suffering from mental illness or severe mental impairment; and

(b)that there is reason to suppose that the mental disorder from which the offender is suffering is such that it may warrant a hospital order being made in his case,

the court may, before making a hospital order or dealing with him in some other way, make an order (in this Order referred to as “an interim hospital order”) committing him to the care of the Department for admission to hospital and detention there in accordance with this Article.

(2) In the case of an offender who is subject to an interim hospital order the court may make a hospital order without his being brought before the court if he is represented by counsel or a solicitor and his counsel or solicitor is given an opportunity of being heard.

(3) An interim hospital order shall not be made under this Article by a court unless an opportunity has been given to the Department to make representations to the court concerning the making of such an order.

(4) An interim hospital order—

(a)shall be in force for such period, not exceeding 12 weeks, as the court may specify when making the order; but

(b)may be renewed for further periods of not more than 28 days at a time if it appears to the court, on the written or oral evidence of the responsible medical officer, that the continuation of the order is warranted;

but no such order shall continue in force for more than 6 months in all and the court shall terminate the order if it makes a hospital order in respect of the offender or decides after considering the written or oral evidence of the responsible medical officer to deal with the offender in some other way.

(5) The power of renewing an interim hospital order may be exercised without the offender being brought before the court if he is represented by counsel or a solicitor and his counsel or solicitor is given an opportunity of being heard.

(6) If an offender absconds from a hospital in which he is detained in pursuance of an interim hospital order, or while being conveyed to or from such a hospital, he may be arrested without warrant by a constable and shall, after being arrested, be brought as soon as practicable before the court that made the order; and the court may thereupon terminate the order and deal with him in any way in which it could have dealt with him if no such order had been made.

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