Law Without Enforcement: Integrating Mental Health and Justice

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9781901362756: Law Without Enforcement: Integrating Mental Health and Justice
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Law relating to mental disorder and to the mentally disordered has rarely been the subject of such extensive and heated debate. This book explores and reflects upon that debate. To date the focus has been on the tension between public protection and individual civil rights,since much of its impetus has derived from 'notorious' homicides in the community and been directed towards calls for a 'community treatment order'. The debate encapsulated here is more comprehensive, going to the heart of the nature of mental illness and its impacts on legal capacity, juxtaposing constructs which arise out of profoundly differing disciplines. The book concludes that the contribution of current mental health legislation is both marginal and marginalised and it seeks to set an agenda for radical law reform by recognising that asking questions may, at this stage, be more valuable than providing hasty answers. Many of the chapters deal with the recent Bournewood decision in the House of Lords.

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Review:

...it is the combined efforts of all the contributors that makes this book so worthy of priority reading.
John Horne -- Journal of Mental Health Law

It produces a series of insights which are thought-provoking at worst and revelatory at best...
Alan Parkin -- Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law

Synopsis:

This text explores and reflects upon the debate over law relating to mental disorder and the mentally disordered. Much of the debate has been focused on the tension between public protection and individual civil rights, since much of its impetus has derived from "notorious" homicides in the community and been directed towards calls for a "community treatment order". This book examines the nature of mental illness and its impacts on legal capacity, juxtaposing constructs which arise out of profoundly differing disciplines. It concludes that the contribution of mental health legislation is both marginal and marginalized, and it seeks to set an agenda for radical law reform by recognizing that questions may, at this stage, be more valuable than providing hasty answers. Many of the chapters deal with the "Bournewood" decision in the House of Lords.

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