in the UK
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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