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Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015

Section 56: right to make representations
New section 17B

157.Section 56 of the Act inserts new sections 17B to 17D to the Criminal Justice Act.

158.Section 17B provides for the victims of mentally disordered offenders to be given a right to make representations in certain cases. A person who has the right to be given information about the offender must, in a case where the offender is subject to a hospital direction or a transfer for treatment direction and qualifies under the Criminal Justice Victim Notification Scheme, be given the chance to make representations before a decision about suspending the offender’s detention is made for the first time. Where the offender is subject to a compulsion order and restriction order, an opportunity to make representations must be given before a decision is taken about (i) suspending the offender’s detention for the first time (for a definition of this see inserted section 18A); (ii) revoking or varying the compulsion order in any way; (iii) conditionally discharging the offender; or (iv) imposing, altering or removing any conditions applying to the conditional discharge of the offender which might affect the victim or family of the victim as described in section 18A(3). Any representations must be about how the decision in question might affect the victim or the victim’s family and the right to make representations only applies if the victim has intimated to the Scottish Ministers a wish to make representations and there is no need to give the victim the opportunity if it is not reasonably practicable to do so.

New section 17C

159.Section 17C provides that representations in relation to decisions under section 193 of the Mental Health Act, made under section 17B(5)(b), may be made orally or in writing. Any other representations made under section 17B (regarding first grant of unescorted suspension of detention or imposing, altering or removing any conditions of discharge) must be made in writing. All representations under that section must reflect how the decision will impact on the victim or the victim’s family. Section 17C(2) makes provision for the Scottish Ministers to issue guidance as to how representations, whether written or oral, should be made.

New section 17D

160.Section 17D provides that where a decision has been made under section 17B (mentally disordered offender (restricted patient): victim’s right to make representation), if the victim has asked for information about a decision to be given under section 17D then the Scottish Ministers must provide it (even although the Ministers are not required to do so under section 16A) unless there are exceptional circumstances which make it inappropriate to do so.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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