On 13 August 2009, the Law Society published a practice note aimed at all legal practitioners who represent patients before mental health tribunals. The code contains best practice advice on how to provide effective legal advice and representation before a tribunal. The provisions are primarily aimed at practitioners who represent patients and contain some interesting points worth bearing in mind for responsible authorities. These include but are not limited to:
- the duty of the legal representative to act in their client's best interests;
- disclosure points, including “not for disclosure” issues; and
- guidance on when to instruct independent experts.
The guidance can be accessed here.