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Compulsion Order

When would this be used?

If you are convicted and your sentence is prison, the court can decide not to send you to prison. They can decide that you must stay in hospital for treatment or have treatment in the community.

You will be examined by two doctors, one must be a psychiatrist. They must believe that:

  • you have a mental illness, learning disability, dementia, or related condition
  • your condition is treatable
  • without treatment, your health, safety, or welfare would be at a risk, or you would be a risk to other people's safety
  • you cannot be treated without using the order

How long can this order last for?

The order lasts for six months. If your psychiatrist thinks it should last longer, they will apply to the Mental Health Tribunal for a further six-month extension. After that, the psychiatrist renews it annually, in the same way as a compulsory treatment order.

The psychiatrist will keep the need for the order under review, and can discharge you from the order if they think it is no longer needed.

Treatment in the community

If you are to be treated in the community, the court tells you:

  • where you must go to get care and treatment
  • where you must live, and your mental health officer must agree if you wish to move somewhere else

The people who must visit you include:

  • your mental health officer
  • your doctor
  • any person your doctor says should give you care or treatment.

If you do not follow the order, your case may go to the Mental Health Tribunal to decide. You can be taken to hospital for your own safety.

Agree to treatment?

You could be treated under Part 16 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. There is further information on our page on safeguarding treatments under mental health law. There is also information in a Scottish Government leaflet 'A guide for people involved in criminal justice proceedings'.

Can I appeal against this order?

You can appeal to the court against the order being made. Appeal means to ask the court to change its decision. You and your named person can ask the Mental Health Tribunal to change or stop the order.

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