Rightful Lives: The Legal Challenge

One of the most heart warming aspects of working on the Rightful Lives exhibition has been the input of our legal friends. Keen to be involved, we’ve been blown away by how much of their time and expertise they’ve been willing to give.

A few weeks ago we organised a meeting between families and lawyers to collect information that may be pertinent to a legal challenge on the grounds of human rights abuses or equality act breaches of people detained in assessment and treatment units. On Tuesday a couple of members of the Rightful Lives team met with the lawyers for an update of their thoughts having reflected upon the earlier anecdotal evidence.

I hope people will understand that at the moment it feels prudent to keep the nature of any potential legal challenge under wraps so as not to alert any organisation/body/charity that we’re on their case. However, it is fair to say, that the possible legal actions on the table are akin to a Polaris being fired off. And any legal challenge will be a collective action so that no individual will be expected to put their arse on the line.

Here is another call to arms:

For the second 7 Days of Action campaign we asked a series of basic questions about ATU experiences and the published responses proved to have one of the most powerful impacts of that campaign. The original blog is here:


For the current legal challenge we are asking for something similar. The lawyers need as much basic evidence as possible when considering the nature of the claim.

We’d like to hear from people and families who currently have a family member detained in an ATU. We’d also like to hear from people and families where the person has been in an ATU but has since been discharged.

The information you give will not be published but will be passed onto the legal experts. It is okay if you wish to remain anonymous. If the person who is/has been detained, you should consider if they have the capacity to consent to this information being disclosed and if they lack capacity, if it’s in their best interests to supply the information.

These are the questions we would like to collect answers on:

1: Name

2: Who is the commissioning body responsible for the placement?

3: Who is the LA where the person normally lives?

4: Who is the provider of the ATU placement?

5: In a sentence, what was the reason for the admission?

6: How long has/was the person been in the ATU?

7: How far is the ATU from the person’s home?

8: In what ways do you consider the person’s human rights have been breached?

9: What are the reasons given as to why the person hasn’t been discharged?

10. If the person has been discharged, what signs are there of any ongoing trauma?

If you wish to contribute to this action, please email your evidence to: markneary@rightfullives.net .


1 thought on “Rightful Lives: The Legal Challenge”

  1. . I’m due in hospital on Wednesday so frantically trying to get last things done
    One family member cannot write and fill out forms
    Ill pm you

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