The Use and Abuse of Mental Health Law: Theory and Practice.
Mental health laws have a variety of functions. They may be used to control and monitor people with mental health problems. They may also grant individuals rights and protections. Such laws typically give mental health professionals powers and duties. Recent debates have focussed on whose definitions of mental disorder get accepted and whether such laws offer just outcomes for those with mental health problems.
This session invites papers that examine mental health law at either a theoretical or empirical level. In line with the themes of this years conference, the session invites submissions that focus on issues of power and justice. Papers might analyse the emphasis given within mental health law to areas such as risks, rights or treatments. They might also focus on trends or patterns of legal decision-making either within or across countries. Submissions focussing on the way way in which legal decisions are experienced by different parties will also be welcomed.