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Fee-paid Judges of the First-tier Tribunal, Health, Education and Social Care Chamber and of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales - Restricted Patients Panel

Closing date:  26 September, 2017 - 13:00


Number of vacancies: 35

Location: Across England and Wales

Fee: HESC - £612.91 per day for RPP work and £491.69 per day for non RPP work, £509.87 in London if non RPP work.

MHRT Wales - £607 per day for RPP work and £487 per day for non RPP work.


The JAC has been asked to recommend candidates for the Restricted Patients Panel in both the First-tier Tribunal, Health Education and Social Care Chamber (Mental Health) (HESC) and the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales (MHRT Wales).

There are 30 vacancies in HESC and 5 in MHRT Wales.

Who can apply

By statute, these posts are open to solicitors and barristers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, advocates or solicitors in Scotland, and Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives with five years legal experience, and those who, in the opinion of the Senior President of Tribunals, have gained experience which makes them suitable for appointment.

In addition, the Lord Chancellor expects candidates for these posts to be Recorders who can demonstrate one or more of the following:

a) Recent sentencing experience in the Crown Court of class 2 or class 1 offences;

b) Substantial experience acquired in practice or judicially of mental health or mental capacity law;

c) Substantial experience acquired in practice or judicially of the judicial assessment of serious risk (such as with the Parole Board, or in relation to public law children cases).

If a candidate is not a Recorder, only in very exceptional cases will someone who is able to demonstrate experience and the necessary skills equivalent to those of a Recorder, together with one or more of (a) to (c) above, be recommended for appointment.

About the tribunals

The tribunals are independent judicial bodies responsible for deciding upon the necessity for the continued compulsory detention of mentally disordered patients in hospitals or the continuation of a conditional discharge, guardianship, or a community treatment order. Their powers and duties are set out in the Mental Health Act 1983, as amended.

The powers of the tribunals are significant, with responsibility to balance the liberty of the patients with the potentially serious risk to them, their families and the public. The successful candidates will primarily deal with restricted patients who are accused or convicted of often serious criminal offences and detained in hospitals. There is a heightened public interest in the outcome of such cases.

Judges assigned to the Restricted Patients Panel are also expected to deal with unrestricted patients, who have not been accused or convicted of criminal offences but could be detained in hospital, or subject to guardianship or community treatment following release. 

Applications to the tribunal can be made by patients periodically seeking a review or by the Justice Secretary or hospital managers who should refer cases after set periods of time. 


Due to the nature of the tribunals, most hearings take place in NHS and private hospitals. Judges in HESC and MHRT Wales are, therefore, peripatetic, required to travel independently to hearing venues across the region. MHRT Wales covers the whole of Wales.

The vacancies in HESC arise in the following locations:


London North



West Midlands

East Sussex





Check the JAC website regularly for updates and sign up to receive email notifications concerning the progress of this exercise up to launch.