Mental Health Law - LW636

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Autumn 6 15 (7.5) MS L Taylor checkmark-circle


The module will cover the historical development of mental health law (in brief), the Mental Health Act 1983, civil and criminal admissions to hospital, consent to treatment, capacity, sections of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 relating to deprivation of liberty, discharge (including the role of the Mental Health Review Tribunal) and care in the community; proposals for reform; interaction with the criminal justice system.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 18
Private study hours: 132
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework - individual oral presentation - 30%)
Examination - 2 hours - 70%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment instrument: 100% exam
Students must achieve a mark of 40% in the exam in order to pass this module on reassessment.

Indicative reading

Bartlett P. and Sandland R., Mental Health Law: Policy and Practice, O.U.P., 4th Edition)
Eastman N. and Peay J., (1999), Law without Enforcement, Hart Pub.,
Eldergill A., (1997) Mental Health Review Tribunals: Law and Practice, Sweet & Maxwell,
Glover-Thomas N. (2002) Reconstructing Mental Health Law and Policy, Butterworths
Gostin L., McHale J. and Bingley W., (2004) Gostin on Mental Health Law, Shaw & Sons
Hoggett B. Mental Health Law 6th ed., Sweet & Maxwell
Jones, R, Mental Health Act Manual 20th ed., Sweet & Maxwell
Peay J., (2003), Decisions and Dilemmas, Hart Pub.
Porter R., (2002), Madness: A Brief History, O.U.P.
Richards M. (2002), Understanding Mental Illness, Straightforward Pub.
Stone N, (2003)Companion Guide to Mentally Disordered Offenders 2nd ed., Shaw & Sons

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to

1.Recognise the legal issues arising in factual situations relating to the mentally ill, personality disordered and learning disabled ("mentally disordered".)
2.Identify and apply relevant case and statute law.
3.Provide an informed and reasoned opinion on the possible legal actions arising from factual situations and their likelihood of success.
4.Demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of mental health law, including its historical development and the Mental Health Act 1983.
5.Demonstrate an ability to evaluate critically aspects of the operation of mental health law in its historical, socio-economic and political contexts, including contrasting the legal (rights based) and medical (therapeutic) approaches and reform of the law.
6.Identify and research particular issues in mental health law using legal research skills (library and electronic.)
7.Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the relationship between mental health law and other areas of the law, e.g. judicial review, human rights and the criminal justice system.

The intended generic learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate competence in a range of generally transferrable skills:
1.Learning skills: The ability to reflect upon and learn from the conduct of exercises as undertaken, including acquiring knowledge and understanding in areas, both legal and non-legal.
2.Problem solving skills: The ability to identify and diagnose set problems, to generate solutions and to evaluate alternative solutions.
3.Self-management skills: The ability to manage time, to evaluate competing priorities and to forward plan.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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