CHAPTER 63:02
MENTAL DISORDERS

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

PART I
Preliminary

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Classification of mentally disordered and defective persons

   4.   Authority for detention and application of the Act

PART II
Reception Orders

   5.   Application for reception order

   6.   Procedure on receipt of application by District Commissioner

   7.   District Commissioner may order apprehension in certain cases

   8.   Proceedings may be held in private

   9.   Issue of reception order

   10.   Temporary treatment

   11.   Duty of the District Commissioner in relation to property

   12.   Duty of police officer to apply for order in certain cases

   13.   Directions or orders in lieu of reception orders

PART III
Effect of a Reception Order

   14.   Period of detention

   15.   Order endorsed under section 10

   16.   Other reception orders

PART IV
Urgent Cases

   17.   Urgent application

   18.   Administrative officer may order apprehension in certain cases

   19.   Apprehension without warrant in certain cases

   20.   Duty of person receiving a patient in urgent cases

   21.   Procedure on receipt by District Commissioner of notification

PART V
Provisions as to Medical Certificates Given under Parts II,
III and IV

   22.   Particulars to be contained in medical certificates

   23.   Incompetence of medical practitioner in certain cases

   24.   Statement of eligibility to sign to be stated in certificate

PART VI
Procedure after Issue of Reception Order

   25.   District Commissioner to send copies of order and reports to Master

   26.   Duty of superintendent

   27.   Powers of Master on consideration of reception order and documents

   28.   Director may order transfer of patient

PART VII
Patients Residing in Private Dwelling Houses

   29.   Where no remuneration is paid for maintenance and care

   30.   Not more than one patient to be in private dwelling

   31.   Visiting of patients under this Part

PART VIII
Review and Termination of Detention

   32.   Reports on patients

   33.   Patient, relative or friend may apply for inquiry

   34.   Termination of detention

PART IX
Temporary Treatment of Voluntary Patients

   35.   Minister may authorize places for temporary treatment

   36.   Voluntary patients

   37.   Notice of reception, death and departure of voluntary patients and provisions as to discharge

PART X
Mental Health Board

   38.   Constitution of Mental Health Board

   39.   Functions of the Board

   40.   Reports by the Board

PART XI
Offences and Penalties

   41.   Detaining patients except under provisions of Act

   42.   False statements, entries and wilful obstruction

   43.   Ill-treatment by nurses or other persons in charge

   44.   Conniving at escape of patient

   45.   Employment of male persons in personal custody of female patient

   46.   Penalties

   47.   Examination of patient at institution

PART XII
General and Supplementary

   48.   Act not to be taken to limit powers of court

   49.   Limitation of actions by patients

   50.   Mechanical means of restraint

   51.   Regulations

   52.   Minister may authorize removal of patients from Botswana

   53.   Provisions regarding patients passing through Botswana

Act 1, 1969,
Act 5, 1971,
S.I. 56, 1971.

An Act to make provision for the reception, detention, treatment and protection of mentally disordered persons.

[Date of Commencement: 23rd April, 1971]

PART I
Preliminary
(ss 1-4)

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Mental Disorders Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

   "child" means any person under the apparent age of 16 years;

   "class" means a class specified in section 3;

   "detention order" means an order issued under section 21;

   "Director" means Director or Deputy Director of Medical Services;

   "District Commissioner" includes an administrative officer acting, by the authority of the District Commissioner, on his behalf;

   "institution" means a mental hospital or other place which is prescribed as an institution or place for the reception, medical treatment and detention of persons suffering from mental disorder or defect:

   Provided that no prison may be prescribed as a place for the medical treatment of persons suffering from a mental disorder or defect;

   "Master" means the Master of the High Court of Botswana;

   "medical practitioner" means a medical practitioner duly registered as such in Botswana;

   "mentally disordered or defective person" means any person who in consequence of a mental disorder or disease or permanent defect of reason or mind, congenital or acquired, is incapable of managing himself or his affairs, or is in consequence of such disorder or disease or defect a danger to himself or others, or is unable to conform with the ordinary usages of the society in which he moves, or who in consequence of such disorder, disease or defect requires supervision of treatment or control, or who, if a child, appears by reason of such defect to be permanently incapable of receiving proper benefit from instruction in ordinary schools;

   "Mental Health Board" or "Board" means the Mental Health Board as established under Part X;

   "patient" means a mentally disordered or defective person or person concerning whom proceedings are considered necessary to determine whether or not he is suffering from a mental disorder or defect;

   "place of detention" means a place prescribed for the reception and detention of persons suffering from mental disorder or defect:

   Provided that no police lock-up shall be so prescribed without the concurrence of the Commissioner of Police;

   "reception order" means an order issued under section 9;

   "superintendent" means an officer or person in charge of an institution, prison or other place of detention and includes a medical superintendent.

3.   Classification of mentally disordered and defective persons

   For the purposes of this Act and all proceedings thereunder, mentally disordered or defective persons are divided into the following classes-

   (a)   Class I: a person who is-

      (i)   of suicidal or homicidal tendency or is in any way dangerous to himself or others; or

      (ii)   has committed or attempted to commit any offence of a serious character;

   (b)   Class II: a person who, although not falling within Class I, is unable to guard himself against common physical dangers or to look after his person and who requires skilled medical attention;

   (c)   Class III: a person who, although not falling within Class I, is unable to guard himself against common physical dangers or to look after his person but who does not require skilled medical attention.

4.   Authority for detention and application of the Act

   (1) No person shall be detained in an institution or elsewhere on the grounds of being a mentally disordered or defective person except-

   (a)   by virtue of the provisions of this Act; or

   (b)   in accordance with the provisions of Part XI of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.

   (2) The provisions of this Act other than section 40(3) and section 50 shall not apply in the case of a person detained in accordance with the provisions of Part XI of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.

PART II
Reception Orders
(ss 5-13)

5.   Application for reception order

   (1) To obtain a reception order for a patient, the husband or wife or other near relative of the patient, or any other person who has attained the age of 21 years, may make application to the District Commissioner.

   (2) In every such application the applicant shall state-

   (a)   that he believes that the person in respect of whom the application is made (hereinafter called "the patient") is mentally disordered or defective;

   (b)   the grounds on which he believes that the patient is mentally disordered or defective;

   (c)   the degree of consanguinity or affinity in which the applicant is related to the patient, and, if he is not the husband or wife or other near relative, the reason why the application is made by the applicant instead of by the husband or wife or near relative; and

   (d)   that the applicant has, within the 14 days immediately preceding the day on which the application was signed, personally seen the patient.

   (3) No such application shall be submitted or transmitted to a District Commissioner more than 14 days after the day on which it is signed.

6.   Procedure on receipt of application by District Commissioner

   Upon receipt of an application for a reception order the District Commissioner may, in his discretion, himself visit the patient at the patient's place of abode or elsewhere and shall, whether or not he does so, obtain from a medical practitioner within a period which should not be more than 14 days a certificate upon the prescribed form as to the mental state of the patient.

7.   District Commissioner may order apprehension in certain cases

   Every District Commissioner to whom an application for a reception order is made in respect of any patient may, if he thinks fit, and if the patient will not appear voluntarily, at any time before the reception order has been made, authorize any police officer to apprehend that person and bring him before-

   (a)   a medical practitioner for the purpose of obtaining a certificate under section 6; and

   (b)   the District Commissioner to be examined and further dealt with in accordance with law.

8.   Proceedings may be held in private

   All proceedings in relation to a reception order may be held in public or private at the discretion of the District Commissioner.

9.   Issue of reception order

   (1) If, upon consideration of the application and the certificates of the medical practitioner and after such further or other inquiry as the District Commissioner thinks necessary, he is satisfied that the patient is mentally disordered or defective and-

   (a)   is not under proper care, treatment or control;

   (b)   is cruelly treated or neglected by any relative or other person having the care or charge of him;

   (c)   is of suicidal or homicidal tendency or is in any way dangerous to himself or others;

   (d)   has committed or attempted to commit any crime or offence or has acted in a manner offensive to public decency; or

   (e)   if the person having the care, treatment or control of the patient consents,

the District Commissioner may issue a reception order in the prescribed form authorizing the patient to be removed to, and to be received and detained in, an institution or place of detention to be named in the order.

   (2) The District Commissioner shall, at the time of issuing a reception order, determine to which class the patient belongs and shall endorse such determination on the order; and, in making such determination, he shall be bound by the opinion in the matter expressed by the medical practitioner in the certificate furnished under section 6 unless, as a result of an inquiry under subsection (1), the District Commissioner is satisfied that the opinion expressed cannot safely be relied upon in the circumstances of the case.

   (3) The District Commissioner shall not issue a reception order authorizing the removal of a Class III patient to, or his reception and detention in, an institution unless with the prior authority of the Director.

   (4) No reception order shall be granted unless the medical practitioner, on whose certificate it is proposed to grant such order, has personally examined the patient and issued the certificate

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.

Please click here to login