F.X. v Clinical Director of Central Mental Hospital and Another

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeDenham C.J.
Date23 January 2014
Docket Number[S.C. Nos. 315 and 318 of 2012]

[2014] IESC 1

THE SUPREME COURT

Denham C.J.

Murray J.

Hardiman J.

O'Donnell J.

McKechnie J.

Appeals No. 315 & 318/12
X (F) v Clinical Director of the Central Mental Hospital & Anor
Between/
F.X.
Applicant/Respondent

and

The Clinical Director of the Central Mental Hospital
Appellant

and

The Director of Public Prosecutions
Notice Party

CONSTITUTION ART 40.4.2

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S4(5)(C)

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S4(6)

NON-FATAL OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON ACT 1997 S4

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S15

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S4(4)

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S4(5)(C)(i)

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2010 S4

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S13

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2010 S7

CONSTITUTION ART 40

C (E) v CLINICAL DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL MENTAL HOSPITAL UNREP HOGAN 5.4.2012 2012 IEHC 152

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S4

H (J) v RUSSELL (CLINICAL DIRECTOR OF CAVAN GENERAL HOSPITAL) 2007 4 IR 242 2007/27/5562 2007 IEHC 7

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S4(6)(A)

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S4(6)(A)(i)

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S4(6)(A)(ii)

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S4(6)(B)

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S4(5)

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S10

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S11

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S12

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S13A

N (E) & N (ML) v HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE & ORS 2006 4 IR 374

QUINN, STATE v RYAN & QUINN 1965 IR 70

CONSTITUTION ART 40.4

ROYLE, STATE v KELLY 1974 IR 259

AYLWARD, IN RE 1860 12 ICLR 448

AIKIN, IN RE 1881 8 LRI 50

O, STATE v O'BRIEN 1973 IR 50

MCDONAGH, STATE v FRAWLEY 1978 IR 131

O'BRIEN v GOVERNOR OF LIMERICK PRISON 1997 2 ILRM 349 1997/5/1877

BRENNAN & ORS v GOVERNOR OF PORTLAOISE PRISON 2008 3 IR 364

COSTELLO THE LAW OF HABEAS CORPUS IN IRELAND 2006 207

CANNON, STATE v KAVANAGH (GOVERNOR OF MOUNTJOY PRISON DUBLIN) 1937 IR 428

AG, PEOPLE v EDGE 1942 76 ILTR 199

KELLEHER v GOVERNOR OF PORTLAOISE PRISON UNREP SUPREME 30.10.1997 1999/14/4144

CRIMINAL LAW (INSANITY) ACT 2006 S9

BROWN, STATE v DISTRICT JUSTICE FERAN & ORS 1967 IR 147

TRIMBOLE (ORSE HANBURY), STATE v GOVERNOR OF MOUNTJOY PRISON 1985 IR 550 1985 ILRM 465

C (S) v CLINICAL DIRECTOR OF JONATHAN SWIFT CLINIC ST JAMES HOSPITAL UNREP SUPREME 5.12.2008 (EX TEMPORE)

X (F) v CLINICAL DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL MENTAL HOSPITAL 2013 1 ILRM 355 2012/46/13902 2012 IEHC 271

Constitutional law- Mental health law - Evidence - Jurisdiction - Stay - Conflicting interpretation - Practice and procedure - Habeas corpus - Detention - Criminal law (Insanity) Act 2006

Facts: The High Court had held that the respondent had not been detained in accordance with law. There was a cross-appeal as to the grant of a stay on the order for release. The Supreme Court considered inter alia whether the High Court had jurisdiction to conduct an inquiry into the lawfulness of a detention ordered by the Central Criminal Court, whether the High Court could place a stay on the order for release, whether s. 4(5)(c)(i) Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006 as amended required the Central Criminal Court to adjourn the proceedings to consider evidence produced pursuant to s. 4(6).

Held by the Supreme Court per Denham CJ (Hardiman, O"Donnell, McKechnie JJ concurring), that the appeal was not moot as the Act of 2006 had given risen to conflicting statutory interpretations as to s. 4(6)a)(i) and s. 4(6)a)(ii). No issue of habeas corpus arose and thus no issue of a stay applied. The Court had jurisdiction to make an inquiry. The Court would affirm the High Court below on the interpretation of s. 4(6). The Court would dismiss the appeal and the cross-appeal.

Appeals
1

This is an appeal by the Clinical Director of the Central Mental Hospital, referred to as "the appellant", from the judgment of the High Court (Hogan J.), delivered on the 3 rd July, 2012, where it was held that the detention of F.X., the applicant/respondent, referred to as "the respondent", was not in accordance with law.

2

There is also a cross appeal on behalf of the respondent from the order of the High Court (Hogan J.) made on the 8 th July, 2012, granting a stay on the order for release. On the 8 th July, 2012, Hogan J. held that the respondent be released at 5 p.m. on the 10 th July, 2012. This short stay was said to be designed to enable the authorities to take such steps as they thought fit in the meantime to ensure that in advance of that time and date the respondent's custody would henceforth be a regular and lawfulone.

3

These appeals raise a number of issues regarding Article 40.4.2 of the Constitution of Ireland and the interpretation of s.4(5)(c) and s.4(6) of the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act, 2006, as amended.

Background Facts
4

The respondent is alleged to have seriously assaulted a fellow patient at Tallaght Hospital on the 11 th May, 2010.

5

The respondent was arrested and brought before Tallaght District Court on the 14 th May, 2010, and charged pursuant to s. 4 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997.

6

The respondent was initially remanded by the District Court to Cloverhill Prison. However, Dr. Moola certified that the respondent was suffering from a mental disorder for which he could not get appropriate care in Cloverhill Prison.

7

The respondent was transferred by the Governor to the Central Mental Hospital in accordance with s. 15 of the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act, 2006, referred to as "the Act of 2006".

8

On the 10 th June, 2010, the District Court remanded the respondent to the Circuit Criminal Court for the purpose of a fitness assessment in accordance with s. 4(4) of the Act of 2006.

9

The victim died from his injuries on the 11 th January, 2011.

10

On the 14 th October, 2011, the respondent was charged with murder and sent forward to the Central Criminal Court.

11

On the 4 th November, 2011, the Mental Health (Criminal) Review Board, referred to as the "Review Board", reviewed the respondent's detention in the Central Mental Hospital and decided that he was appropriately detained there.

12

On the 26 th March, 2012, the Central Criminal Court (Carney J.) held that the respondent was unfit to be tried. The Central Criminal Court ordered:-

"THE COURT DOTH FIND pursuant to section 4(5)(c)(i) of the Criminal Law Insanity Act 2006 that the accused herein is unfit to be tried and is suffering from a mental disorder (within the meaning of the Act of 2001) and THE COURT DOTH FIND, having heard the evidence of an approved medical officer, that the accused F.X. is in need of in-patient care or treatment in a designated centre and THE COURT DOTH ORDER pursuant to section 4(5)(c)(i) of the Criminal Law Insanity Act 2006 (as amended by section 4 of the Criminal Law Insanity Act 2010) that the proceedings herein be and the same are hereby adjourned until further Order and that the accused F.X. be and is hereby committed to the Central Mental Hospital, being a designated centre pursuant to the said Criminal Law Insanity Act 2006 until an order is made under section 13 of the said Criminal Law (Insanity) Act, 2006 (as amended by section 7 of the Criminal Law Insanity Act, 2010)."

13

The Central Criminal Court made its decision having heard evidence from Dr.Brenda Wright, a Consultant Psychiatrist, who was called by the Director of Public Prosecutions, the notice party, referred to as "the DPP".

14

Dr. Paul O'Connell, a Consultant Psychiatrist, attended the Central Criminal Court on behalf of the respondent, but he was not called to give evidence. There was no dispute between the respondent and the DPP on the evidence of Dr. Wright.

15

It was common case that the respondent was unfit to be tried and that he suffered from a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act, 2001, referred to as "the Act of 2001", and that he required treatment in the Central Mental Hospital.

16

On the 27 th April, 2012, the Review Board reviewed the respondent's detention. In the opinion of that Board the respondent continued to suffer from a mental disorder that required in-patient treatment in the Central Mental Hospital.

The E.C. case
17

On the 5 th April, 2012, after an inquiry under Article 40, the High Court (Hogan J.) delivered a judgment in E.C. v. The Clinical Director of the Central Mental Hospital [2012] IEHC 152. The High Court's interpretation of s. 4 of the Act of 2006 in E.C. took a different view as to how the section was to be operated than that taken by the Central Criminal Court in this case.

18

After the decision of the High Court in E.C., this case was re-entered by the DPP before the Central Criminal Court (Carney J.) on the 24 th May, 2012, for the purpose of informing the Court of the decision in E.C..

19

On the 24 th May, 2012, there was no specific request to the Central Criminal Court to vary or amend the earlier order or alternatively, to make a fresh order. However, counsel informed the Central Criminal Court that, in light of the E.C. decision, he considered it his duty to seek an Article 40 inquiry. Judge Carney told counsel that he was entitled to go to any serving judge of the High Court. He did not consider it appropriate that he would hear the inquiry.

Application for an inquiry under Article 40 of the Constitution
20

On behalf of the respondent an application was made to the High Court (Hogan J.) on the 21 st June, 2012, for an inquiry under Article 40.4.2 of the Constitution.

21

The High Court (Hogan J.) delivered a reserved judgment on the 3 rd July, 2012, where it was held that the detention was not in accordance with law, and the matter was adjourned to the 6 th July, 2012, pending further argument as to the appropriate remedy.

22

The case resumed on...

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