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Peter Bartlett, University of Nottingham,; Magda Furgalska, University of York,; Amanda Keeling, University of Leeds,

Mental health/capacity law seem to be in a period of quiet at the moment.  In England and Wales, mental health reforms seem to have been put on ice, and the Liberty Protection Safeguards (reforming DOLS) have no date for implementation.  Things are better in Scotland, where the Scott report has been received broadly positively by the government.  In all of the UK, though, we are under the shadow of pending elections.  Is this the calm before the storm?  And what should the storm look like?


That question provides a particularly apt occasion for this stream.  Papers from all areas of the law relating to mental health, mental capacity and mental disability are welcome, including:

  • Civil, criminal or informal mechanisms of control, in hospital or in the community

  • Supported decision-making and supported accommodation

  • The law relating to disability and welfare benefits, and issues relating to care and programmes in the community;

  • Issues relating to discrimination on the basis of mental disability (be it mental health issues, neurodiversity, psychosocial disabilities, or learning disabilities)

  • International law relating to people with mental disabilities, including (but not limited to) issues surrounding the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD);  

  • The role of administration or care-givers in the provision of services;

  • The role or experience of service users in mental health care, and research into mental health care.


There is no restriction on methodology:  papers may be empirical, policy-centred, historical, analytic, traditional legal, or theoretical, in approach. 


Papers are welcome from any academic background, and from people at any stage of their career. Proposals from people with lived experience of mental distress are welcome.


The stream co-ordinators are happy to consider joint sessions with other streams in the conference where appropriate.

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