Mental Illness: Law and Policy (LAWS6877)

UNIT OF STUDY

This unit deals with the law relating to mental health issues in Australia including human rights principles. Background material on the nature and incidence of mental illness, psychiatric and medical issues, as well criminological and public policy literature will be considered where relevant. The unit covers substantive issues from civil treatment, welfare law, and criminal law. Topics covered will include: the social context of mental illness and the current and historical approaches to treatment of the mentally ill; contemporary State, Territorial and Federal involvement in mental health policy and legislation; the present framework of NSW mental health law and related welfare law including the Mental Health Act, Guardianship Act, Protected Estates Act and Mental Health (Criminal Procedure) Act; the process of scheduling persons with a mental illness; review mechanisms including the roles of the medical superintendent, magistrates, the mental health review tribunal and the Supreme Court; longer term detention of the mentally ill; community treatment and community counselling orders; protected estates and guardianship orders; electroconvulsive therapy; consent to surgery and special medical treatment; the defence of not guilty on the grounds of mental illness, the review of forensic patients and the exercise of the executive discretion; the issue of unfitness to be tried; the involuntary treatment of prisoners in the correctional system; and proposals and options for reform.

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Further unit of study information

Classes

Sep 1, 2 & 8, 9 (9-5)

Assessment

3000wd assignment (40%) and 4500wd essay (60%)

Faculty/department permission required?

No

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