1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Mental Health Law

Edited By Brendan D. Kelly, Mary Donnelly Copyright 2024
    756 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Mental health law is a rapidly evolving area of practice and research, with growing global dimensions. This work reflects the increasing importance of this field, critically discussing key issues of controversy and debate, and providing up-to-date analysis of cutting-edge developments in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Australia.

    This is a timely moment for this book to appear. The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) sought to transform the landscape in which mental health law is developed and implemented. This Convention, along with other developments, has, to varying degrees, informed sweeping legislative reforms in many countries around the world. These and other developments are discussed here. Contributors come from a wide range of countries and a variety of academic backgrounds including ethics, law, philosophy, psychiatry, and psychology. Some contributions are also informed by lived experience, whether in person or as family members. The result is a rich, polyphonic, and sometimes discordant account of what mental health law is and what it might be.

    The Handbook is aimed at mental health scholars and practitioners as well as students of law, human rights, disability studies, and psychiatry, and campaigners and law- and policy-makers.

    List of contributors

    List of figures 

    List of tables


    Mary Donnelly and Brendan D. Kelly

    Part 1: Background and Context


    Ch. 1: History and Development of Mental Health Law

    Brendan D. Kelly


    Ch. 2: Independent Mental Health Monitoring: Evaluating the Care Quality Commission in England’s Approach to Regulation, Rights and Risks

    Judy Laing


    Ch. 3: The Relationship between Ethics and Law in Mental Healthcare

    Louise Campbell

    Part 2: European and International Standards


    Ch. 4: The European Court’s Incremental Approach to the Protection of Liberty, Dignity and Autonomy

    Anna Nilsson


    Ch. 5: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Mental Health Law: Requirements and Responses

    Suzanne Doyle Guilloud


    Ch. 6: Responses to the World Health Organization’s QualityRights Initiative

    Richard Duffy


    Part 3: Specific Groups


    Ch. 7: Children’s Mental Health Care: Decision-Making and Human Rights

    Camilla Parker


    Ch. 8: People with Learning Disability: Scotland and Beyond

    Jill Stavert


    Ch. 9: Mental Health Laws and Older Adults          

    Penelope Weller


    Ch. 10: Abuse, Neglect and Adult Safeguarding in the Context of Mental Health and Disability

    Laura Pritchard-Jones


    Ch. 11: The Use of Trans-Related Diagnoses in Healthcare and Legal Gender Recognition: From Disease- to Identity-Based Models

    Pieter Cannoot and Sarah Schoentjes


    Ch. 12: Personality Disorder in Mental Health and Criminal Law

    Ailbhe O’Loughlin


    Part 4: Forensic Psychiatry and Criminal Law


    Ch. 13: Mental illness and Criminal Law: Irreconcilable Bedfellows?

    Jill Peay


    Ch. 14: The Principles of Forensic Psychology and Criminal Law – An American Perspective

    Eric Y. Drogin


    Ch. 15: Mental capacity in Forensic Psychiatry

    Stefano Ferracuti and Giovanna Parmigiani


    Ch. 16: Capturing Mental Health Issues in International Criminal Law and Justice: The Input of the International Criminal Court

    Caroline Fournet


    Part 5: Issues, Controversies, Challenges


    Ch. 17: Decision-making Capacity in Mental Health Law

    Alex Ruck Keene and Katherine Reidy


    Ch. 18: Risk of Harm and Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment

    Matthew Large, Sascha Callaghan and Christopher James Ryan


    Ch. 19: Compulsory Community Treatment: Is it the Least Restrictive Alternative?

    John Dawson


    Ch. 20: Socio-economic Inclusion and Mental Health Law

    Terry Carney


    Ch. 21: The Right to Mental Health

    Brendan D. Kelly


    Ch. 22: Mental Health, Discrimination and Employment Law

    Mark Bell


    Ch. 23: Family in Mental Health Law: Responding to Relationality

    Mary Donnelly


    Ch. 24: Consenting for Prevention: The Ethics of Ambivalent Choice in Psychiatric Genomics

    Camillia Kong


    Part 6: Developments in Specific Regions and Jurisdictions


    Ch. 25: Change or Improvement? Mental Health Law Reform in Africa

    Heléne Combrinck


    Ch. 26: Mental Health Law and Practice in Ghana: An Examination of Act 846

    Lily Kpobi, Charlotte Kwakye-Nuako and Leveana Gyimah


    Ch. 27: Regulating Mental Health Care in South Africa: Assessing the Right to Legal Capacity and the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health in South African Law and Policy

    Elizabeth Kamundia and Ilze Grobbelaar-du Plessis


    Ch. 28: Untapped Potential of China’s Mental Health Law Reform

    Bo Chen


    Ch. 29: Colonisation, history and the evolution of mental health legislation in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

    Sangeeta Dey and Graham Mellsop


    Ch. 30: India’s Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 – A Promise for Transformation and Radical Change

    Arjun Kapoor and Manisha Shastri


    Ch. 31: An alternative to mental health law: the Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

    Gavin Davidson


    Ch. 32: Argentina, Chile, Columbia and Peru: Mental Health Law and Legal Capacity

    Pablo Marshall


    Ch. 33: Mental Health Policies in Spanish and Portuguese Speaking South American Countries

    Carla Aparecida Arena Ventura


    Part 7: Future Directions


    Ch. 34: Inter-disciplinary Collaboration in the Mental Health Sector: The Role of Law

    Bernadette McSherry


    Ch. 35: The Mental Health and Justice Project: reflections on strong interdisciplinarity

    Gareth Owen

    Ch. 36: ‘Digitising the Mental Health Act’: Are we facing the app-ification and platformisation of coercion in mental health services?

    Piers Gooding


    Ch. 37: Mental Health Law: A Global Future?

    Jean V. McHale


    Ch. 38: The Future of Mental Health Law: Abolition or Reform?

    Kay Wilson


    Ch. 39: The Future of Mental Health Law - The Need for Deeper Examination and Broader Scope

    Tania L. Gergel


    Brendan D. Kelly is Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

    Mary Donnelly is Professor of Law at University College Cork, Ireland.