Frequently Asked Questions
You will find answers to our most frequently asked questions from Patients, Carers and Mental Health Professionals.
Q During what hours will the Tribunal accept an application?
A. The Tribunal will accept applications etc during business hours. Email applications will also be accepted outside office hours.
Office hours are:
- Monday to Thursday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Friday: 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
(for further details e.g. Bank Holidays, see the Contacts page)
Q. I have been invited to a hearing. Do I need to attend?
A. Your attendance is expected but not compulsory. On very rare occasions the Tribunal may issue a citation requiring a person to attend as a witness. If you receive a citation to attend the hearing, then you must attend the hearing. It is an offence to refuse or fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a citation.
Q. How long will a hearing last?
A. The length of a hearing will depend on the individual case but the majority of hearings are completed within half a day. If a decision is made on the day you will be told what the outcome is.
However, if the panel cannot make a final decision on the application on the day, and there is sufficient evidence to warrant it, they may make an interim compulsory treatment order, which can last up to 28 days. If this occurs the panel will explain what happens next. Another hearing will be arranged before the expiry of the interim compulsory treatment order and you will be invited to that hearing.
Q. How soon will I get notification of the date of my next hearing?
A. Notice will be given as soon as the next hearing is arranged; the Tribunal will attempt to offer as much notice as possible, but statutory timescales can often be quite short.
Q. Where are hearings held?
A. Tribunal hearings take place at a wide range of venues across Scotland. Where practical, hearings are held where it is most convenient for the patient. This can be either in a hospital or in a community venue. Details of all venues can be found in our venues' section.
Q. I don't know where the hearing is. What can I do?
A. If you are invited to a hearing the address and postcode will be printed on the letter. You can also find more information on our dedicated venues' section. You can search for information by hospital, venue or area. You could also ask your advocacy worker or another person who you know will be attending the hearing.
Q. I want to attend the hearing but there are times that I cannot attend. What should I do?
A. Complete a Scheduling Pro Forma letting the Tribunal know the dates that you cannot attend and attach this to the front of your original application.
As you will understand, given the statutory timescales within which the Tribunal requires to operate and the fact that a number of people will be invited to attend the hearing, the Tribunal cannot guarantee to accommodate you but will endeavour to do so.
If you are a service user, a named person or another person with an interest and you have been invited to attend a hearing and there are times or dates when you cannot attend, please contact us and we will endeavour to accommodate you.
Q. Can a hearing date be arranged before I send in my application?
A. No. The Tribunal requires the completed Application Form prior to arranging the hearing date.
Q. My brother/sister/father/mother/etc was not notified of my hearing. Why did this happen?
A. The Tribunal has a statutory duty to inform all individuals who are entitled to attend the hearing of the place, date and time of the hearing. If the Tribunal has not been given the details of a particular individual, then the Tribunal will be unable to notify that person of the hearing.
Q. Are patients eligible for Legal Aid?
A. All patients are eligible for non-means tested legal aid for proceedings before the Tribunal. Your solicitor, advocacy worker or Citizen's Advice Bureau can advise you further.
Q. I am a named person. Am I eligible for Legal Aid?
A. All named persons are eligible for non-means tested legal aid for proceedings before the Tribunal. Your solicitor, advocacy worker or Citizen's Advice Bureau can advise you further.
Q. I have information that I think the panel should be aware of. What can I do?
A. It is preferable that you submit relevant information to the Tribunal at its Headquarters in Hamilton prior to a hearing. Please note that the Tribunal has a statutory duty to pass information received to other parties. A party is not just everyone who is interested in a case. A party is defined in our Rules of Procedure.
Alternatively, you can bring the information to the hearing and give it to the Convenor on the day. A Tribunal Clerk will also be in attendance and they can also help you with any queries you may have.
Q. Where can I get more information on the Mental Health Act.
A. Click on the link to obtain more information on the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 ("the 2003 Act").
Q. Where can I get more information about a venue?
A. You can refer to the venues' section on our website which gives details on each venue. You can search for information by hospital, venue or area.
Q. What can I send by fax?
A. The Tribunal does not accept applications by fax but can accept notifications such as Short-Term Detention Orders (form DET2), Short-Term Detention Extensions (DET4) and Section 86 Determinations (CT03b), provided that a hearing will not be required.
Q. Is there a dress code?
A. There is no formal dress code.
Q. How long does it take to pay an invoice?
A. From date of receipt, invoices may take up to 30 days to process but the Tribunal will endeavor to pay a valid invoice within 10 days.
Q. I didn't find the answer to my question. What can I do?
A. If you didn't find what you were looking for from all the Information contained within this website you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will endeavour to reply as soon as possible.
You should note, however, that the Tribunal cannot provide any person with legal advice in relation to the 2003 Act or proceedings before the Tribunal. If you require legal advice, please contact your own solicitor.