Young thoughtful girl of school age with

Mental Health

Richard has acted on behalf of mental health patients for many years. He took the first "right to life" case based on a hospital's knowledge of a real and immediate risk of a patient committing suicide in its care. Richard represented the deceased's mother. Refer Copland v CCDHB HC Wellington CIV 2017-485-109.

Richard prosecuted the first case of “intra-grounds” discrimination in the Supreme Court, which related to the treatment of the most acutely unwell psychiatric patients compared to the less acutely unwell. The Court agreed intra-grounds discrimination is a valid ground of discrimination under the Bill of Rights. B v Waitemata District Health Board [2017] 1 NZLR 823 (SC).

Richard applies for court orders to allow mental health patients to exercise their right to refuse medical treatment. He uses the writ of habeas corpus and judicial review to ensure medical health professionals respect the rights of people with unwellness issues.