Medico-legal reports

Coronavirus update:

Freedom of Torture is accepting referrals for medico-legal reports at its Newcastle, Glasgow and London centre from 1st August 2021. Unfortunately, our Manchester and Birmingham centres remain closed for new referrals at this time. We are planning to re-open for referrals to our Manchester centre on 1st September 2021.

However, if you have a need for a piece of medico legal evidence that could be obtained by one of our doctors in full remotely, please do contact us and we will do our best to assist.

For example, you may have a client who requires a psychological only assessment and is willing to have this conducted remotely; or you may have a client requiring a capacity assessment or a suicide risk assessment. We are likely able to assist with such requests.

If your client’s case concerns some other piece of evidence, please do get in touch on mlrreferrals@freedomfromtorture.org and a member of the MLR team will respond to your query. We will continue to review our capacity for normal medico legal report services and update this page accordingly.

Read our COVID-19 operations update (DOCX 1.3MB).

Read our interim recommendations on remote work (PDF 391KB).

About:

Our specialist doctors provide independent evidence of torture to people seeking asylum in the UK. Find out more below and download our form to make a referral (DOCX 34.7 KB).

What is a medico-legal report?

A medico-legal report (MLR) is an important legal document, which is used to support a torture survivor’s asylum claim. It is requested and used by the torture survivor’s legal representative. 

An MLR forensically documents evidence of torture. It uses international legal standards set out in the Istanbul Protocol (PDF 1,028 KB).

For more information, download the Home Office’s Asylum Policy Instruction (PDF 339.23 KB) for medico-legal reports.

How does Freedom from Torture produce a medico-legal report?

Our expert doctors will ask the person to give a full history of their background, health and ill-treatment. They will examine scars and injuries caused by torture. They will also document evidence of the psychological impact of torture.

An interpreter can be present for people who do not speak fluent English.

Where we work

Our services are available in the UK, from our centres in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.

Whom we help

We help men, women and children who have survived physical and psychological torture. They are in the process of seeking asylum, and a medico-legal report can provide important evidence.

How to request a medico-legal report

Please read our guidance and fees information sheet (PDF 481.43 KB) and complete our referral form (DOCX 34.7 KB) to request a medico-legal report. We review requests twice a week and will aim to respond to you within 2 weeks. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Coronavirus update

FFT's medico-legal report department is open for new referrals for all forms of medical evidence during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the event that you request a combined psychological and physical medico-legal report, we will undertake a psychological assessment remotely and provide you with this report now. When our offices re-open for face-to-face client appointments, we will undertake a physical assessment (and an update psychological assessment if necessary) and provide you with this report at that point.