Groundbreaking legal challenge brought by Saunders Law featured in the Guardian
The Guardian has featured a groundbreaking legal challenge brought successfully by Saunders Law. The article can be viewed here.
Ms Maher’s son Kyle was killed in 2017 by Richard Wilson-Michael, who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. He was convicted of manslaughter and given a Hospital Order rather than being sent to prison. Just four years later, the Mental Health Tribunal released him into the community. In doing so it refused to give Ms Maher the reasons for its decision. The High Court’s decision declares that this was unlawful, meaning that the Tribunal must carefully balance the privacy rights of the patient with the rights of victims and the principle of open justice.
Further details of the case can be found in our press release.
The claimant Ms Maher was represented by Jag Bahra, a solicitor in our Human Rights team, along with Dan Squires KC of Matrix Chambers and Dr Timothy Baldwin of Garden Court Chambers.
Commenting on the judgment, Mr Bahra said the following:
Kyle’s family have been fighting for justice for some six years now. They were failed by practically every institution involved in the events that led to his death. The wall of silence that surrounded his killer’s release just four years later was the final insult.
The Tribunal is perhaps the last court left operating in near total secrecy and we now hope to see more transparency as a result of this decision. It’s a victory for victims’ rights and for open justice.
Finally, this case was made possible by legal aid, the Human Rights Act, and judicial review – all of which are under near-constant attack by the Government. Legal challenges brought by ordinary people are an important tool to force the legal system to change for the better – and must not be undermined.
The High Court’s full judgment can be viewed here.