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J.T. v. United Kingdom , [2000] 1 FLR 909 (Eur. Ct. H.R. Mar. 30, 2000)

Facts: J.T, a detained patient, had a troubled relationship with her mother, and her adoptive father had sexually abused her. J.T. wanted to change the "nearest relative" appointed under section 26 of the Mental Health Act 1983 during her involuntary detention in a psychiatric institution. Given that the mother was the nearest relative under the Act, she and the stepfather had access to highly confidential information regarding the patient, and the Act did not afford the patient a procedure by which she could re-designate the identification of her nearest relative

Complaint: the applicant complained under Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention that she could not change her "nearest relative" appointed under section 26 of the Mental Health Act 1983 during her involuntary detention in a psychiatric institution.

Holding: The case has been struck out following a friendly settlement which indicated that the relevant legislation would be amended to provide the detainee with the power to apply to court to have the "nearest relative" replaced where the patient reasonably objected to a certain person acting in that capacity. The legislation is also to provide for the exclusion of certain persons from acting as "nearest relative".

 

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