chapter  11
18 Pages

THE IMPACT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998 ON MENTAL HEALTH LAW AND PRACTICE: PART I

ByLaura Davidson

The following two chapters will investigate the rights that may be affected by virtue of the suspected or actual presence of mental disorder in the context of the fact that the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998 brings rights drawn from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into the fabric of English law.1 The first chapter briefly introduces mental health issues in the context of the ECHR and then analyses Art 5(1) of the Convention. Under the HRA 1998, victims who allege a breach of their ‘Convention rights’ may gain remedy for this in the domestic courts, instead of having to travel to Strasbourg after exhausting local remedies. Section 2 of the HRA 1998 states that in interpreting whether or not these rights have been violated regard shall be had, where appropriate, to previous Convention jurisprudence, such as that of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court). Hence, case law is analysed in some detail. As the range of rights protected under the ECHR is too broad to hope to examine in any detailed way, what is provided is an overview of a variety of legal issues relating to mentally disordered adults which may be open to challenge under the 1998 Act.