jcdmhb 03

Session 2003-04, 5 November 2004

Further evidence sessions

Further evidence sessions

Following publication of the draft Mental Health Bill on 8 September (Cm 6305), the Joint Committee will continue to take oral evidence on Wednesday, 10th and 17th November.  Evidence sessions are expected to take place up until the end of January 2005 and the Committee has to report by 31st March 2005.

The text of the draft Bill is available on the website link below:



The Committee will take oral evidence in public from the following witnesses:

Wednesday 10 November, 9.45am

Mind, The No Force Campaign; Rethink, Hafal

Wednesday 17 November, 9.45am

Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, King's Fund; David Hewitt, Solicitor, TBA; Making Decisions Alliance, Mencap.

Further evidence sessions are to be announced. Meetings will take place in the Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House at the Palace of Westminster; it is advisable to ring the office on 020 7219 8363 to check the precise venue of each meeting a few days in advance.

For maps and directions to Parliament please click on the link below:


A transcript of each public meeting will be placed on the Committee's web pages.  The web pages also contain the Committee's call for written evidence, and will contain much of the written evidence received by the Committee:  http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/jcdmhb.cfm

 Notes to Editors

Membership of the Committee:

Chairman: Lord Carlile of Berriew (Lib Dem)

Mrs Liz Blackman, MP (Lab, Erewash); Mrs Angela Browning, MP (Cons, Tiverton and Honiton); Mr David Hinchliffe, MP (Lab, Wakefield); Mr George Howarth, MP (Lab, Knowsley North and Sefton East); Tim Loughton, MP (Cons, East Worthing and Shoreham); Mr Paul Marsden, MP (LibDem, Shrewsbury and Atcham); Laura Moffatt, MP (Lab, Crawley); Ms Meg Munn, MP (Lab, Sheffield Heeley); Dr Doug Naysmith, MP (Lab, Bristol North West); Mr Gwyn Prosser, MP (Lab, Dover); Dr Howard Stoate, MP (Lab, Dartford);  Hywel Williams, MP (Plaid Cymru, Caernarfon);

 Baroness Barker (Lib Dem); Lord Carter (Lab); Baroness Cumberlege (Cons); Baroness Eccles of Moulton (Cons); Baroness Finlay of Llandaff (Cross Bencher); Baroness Flather (Cons); Lord Mayhew of Twysden (Cons); Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall (Lab); Baroness Pitkeathley (Lab); Lord Rix (Cross Bencher); Lord Turnberg (Lab)

Scope of the Committee's inquiry

The Committee will be considering the following themes in its inquiry:

1. Is the Draft Mental Health Bill rooted in a set of unambiguous basic principles? Are these principles appropriate and desirable?

2. Is the definition of Mental Disorder appropriate and unambiguous? Are the conditions for treatment and care under compulsion sufficiently stringent? Are the provisions for assessment and treatment in the Community adequate and sufficient?

3. Does the draft bill achieve the right balance between protecting the personal and human rights of the mentally ill on one hand, and concerns for public and personal safety on the other?

4. Are the proposals contained in the Draft Mental Health Bill necessary, workable, efficient, and clear? Are there any important omissions in the Bill?

5. Is the proposed institutional framework appropriate and sufficient for the enforcement of measures contained in the draft bill?

6. Are the safeguards against abuse adequate? Are the safeguards in respect of particularly vulnerable groups, for example children, sufficient? Are there enough safeguards against misuse of aggressive procedures such as ECT and psychosurgery?

7. Is the balance struck between what has been included on the face of the draft bill, and what goes into Regulations and the Code of Practices right?

8. Is the Draft Mental Health Bill adequately integrated with the Mental Capacity Bill (as introduced in the House of Commons on 17 July 2004)?

9. Is the Draft Mental Health Bill in full compliance with the Human Rights Act?

10. What are likely to be the human and financial resource implications of the draft bill? What will be the effect on the roles of professionals? Has the Government analysed the effects of the Bill adequately, and will sufficient resources be available to cover any costs arising from implementation of the Bill?

To follow the progress of the inquiry, visit the Committee's website:


If you wish to be added to the mailing list for future press notices from the Committee, please contact:

Richard Dawson
Committee Office Scrutiny Unit
House of Commons
London   SW1P 3JA

E-mail: scrutiny@parliament.uk   (Please put  Mental Health in the subject box).

Tel: 020 7219 8363
Fax 020 7219 8381