We are pleased to welcome this guest post from Dr. Claire Murray of University College Cork.
The Interim Report was published on the 21 June 2012 and followed a commitment in the Programme for Government to conduct a review of the Mental Health Act 2001 (MHA 2001) “in consultation with service users, carers and other stakeholders, informed by human rights standards.” The complete report is due to be published in late 2012/early 2013.
Continue reading “Steering Group of the Review of the Mental Health Act: Interim Report”
We are pleased to welcome this guest post from Dr. Louise Kennefick, Lecturer in Law at NUI Maynooth.
With the news that the Department of Justice and Equality is to conduct a review of the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006 (as amended), the insanity defence is back in the limelight once again, and not a moment too soon. The recent Report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, court proceedings (e.g. D.P.P. v. W.B. discussed below), and A Vision for Change have all played their part in mobilising the government. Continue reading “Still "insane". But for how much longer…?”
The Centre for Disability Law and Policy recently prepared a submission to the Oireachtas Justice Committee on the Scheme of proposed legislation that will radically overhaul Irish law on legal capacity. The full submission is available here.
The core message of the submission was that the fields of mental health law, non-discrimination, and legal capacity can no longer be considered separately. In this regard the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities “recognises that considering these issues in separate silos was wrong and that the artificial lines drawn between these separate fields are increasingly blurred” and it is important to consider the impact the proposed legal capacity legislation on general non-discrimination provisions and mental health law in particular. The submission highlighted that Article 12 of the CRPD on legal capacity is at the core of the Convention and that equal recognition as a person before the law is key to the enjoyment of all other rights. The submission also flagged that the assumption of legal capacity, and the obligation on states to provide supports to people with disabilities in order to enable them to exercise their legal capacity flows from this recognition, and these are the key attributes, which need to be embedded in Irish law, in order to ensure compliance Continue reading “Moving Towards Modern Legislation on Legal Capacity in Ireland”
We are delighted to welcome this guest post from Suzanne Doyle, a PhD candidate and IRCHSS scholar at University College Cork Faculty and Department of Law.
The recent decision of the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal in the case of A.H. v. West London Mental Health Trust & Anor (17th of February 2011) represents a substantial step forward in the utilisation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereafter ‘CRPD’) at the domestic level post-ratification and is likely to serve as a useful template for Irish applicants taking similar proceedings when Ireland fulfils its commitment to ratify the CRPD, having been one of the first signatories on the 30th of March 2007. Continue reading “Guest Contribution: Doyle on The Right to a Public Hearing for Persons with Mental Disabilities”
We are pleased to welcome this guest contribution from Fiona Morrissey, a PhD candidate in NUI Galway and lecturer and librarian in Athlone IT. You can find out more about Fiona on our guests page.
Advance directives are statements by competent adults setting out their wishes in advance of incapacity. The inclusion of advance directives in psychiatric settings is part of an international impetus towards the entrenchment of human rights for persons with mental illness (see Weller, “Advance Directives and the Translation of Human Rights Principles in Mental Health Laws-Towards a Contextual Analysis”). Advance mental health directives allow competent individuals to specify their treatment preferences in advance of an incapacitating mental health crisis when they are unable to make decisions for themselves. The instrument is increasingly recognised as a valuable mechanism by which the rights of persons with mental illness can be respected during periods of incapacity. The main theoretical rationale behind advance directives is the enhancement of patient autonomy but the measure also has the potential to ameliorate some of the negative consequences of mental illness. Advance directives were originally developed to allow people to make decisions regarding end of life care (O’Reilly, R., “The Capacity to Execute an Advance Directive for Psychiatric Treatment”). The concept of the ‘living will’ was then extended to the mental health context enabling people to express their future treatment choices prior to incapacity. Historically, persons with mental illness have not been afforded the opportunity to become involved in their treatment decisions (Deegan, “The Independent Living Movement and People with Psychiatric Disabilities: Taking back Control over our own Lives”). Many patients still have little influence over their destiny during a mental health crisis and are excluded from participation in many life decisions once deemed incapable. Advance directives offer a novel solution to this dilemma by enabling treatment choices to be asserted during periods of decision making capacity. The measure serves to restore the voice of the individual at a time when it is most often disregarded. Continue reading “Guest Contribution: Morrissey on Advance Directives in Mental Health Care”