Dr Camilla Parker
Dr Camilla Parker is a lawyer and independent consultant specialising in the areas of law and human rights relevant to the mental health care of children, young people and adults. She has a long-standing interest in promoting a human rights perspective to the development of law, policy and practice in health and social care.
Prior to establishing her consultancy in 1997, Dr Parker was Legal and Parliamentary Officer at Mind. She was awarded an LLM in Human Rights and Civil Liberties (with distinction) in 1993 (University of Leicester) and has taught on post-graduate courses, including at Cardiff University where she was a part-time teacher for the Legal Aspects of Medical Practice LLM and social Care LLM (20012-2015). Camilla was a legal and visiting member of the Mental Health Act Commission (1995-2000), a non-executive director/special adviser of a Mental Health NHS Trust (2000-2006) and a special adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights in the inquiry culminating in the Committee's report "A life like any other? Human rights of adults with Learning disabilities" March 2008. She is a qualified (non-practising) solicitor and has been a member of the Law Society's Mental Health and Disability Committee since 2009.
Internationally, she has worked with organisations seeking to promote the human rights and social inclusion for disabled people (including people with learning disabilities and those with experience of mental health problems in Central and Easter Europe. since the introduction of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Camilla's work has focused on high-lighting disabled people's rights to community living and the obligations on the European Commission and the EU Member States to ensure that EU Funds are invested in initiatives that support the transition from institutional care to community living.
Dr Parker has researched, written presented and taught extensively on areas such as consent to treatment, compulsory care under the Mental Health Act 1983, decision-making under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the legal framework for the care and treatment of children and young people requiring in-patient psychiatric care. She regularly provides training for practitioners working in health, mental health, social care and children's services.
The main focus of Dr Parker's current research is the legal and human rights aspects of the mental health care of children and young people. This includes exploring the extent to which human rights promote the concept of adolescent autonomy, the development of the law in relation to the role of parental consent in determining the deprivation of liberty of children and young people and gaps in the provision of safeguards for certain groups of under 18's requiring in-patient psychiatric care. Camilla's interest in this area stems from her doctoral research (PhD Law, Cardiff University 2017) and consultancy work that she has undertaken during the last decade. Dr Parker was the lead author of 'The Legal Aspects of the Care and Treatment of Children and Young People with Mental Disorder: a guide for professionals' (Department of Health January 2009) and worked as a consult for the Department of Health in leading the work to revise the children and young people's chapter in the Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice (Chapter 18 in the 2015 code). She is currently writing a book on adolescent mental health care and the law for legal practitioners.