Measuring the impact of revised mental health legislation on human rights in Queensland, Australia

Gill, Neeraj S., Amos, Andrew, Muhsen, Hassan, Hatton, Joshua, Ekanayake, Charuka, and Kisely, Steve (2020) Measuring the impact of revised mental health legislation on human rights in Queensland, Australia. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 73. 101634.

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Abstract

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) (CRPD) has been instrumental for initiating and shaping the reform of mental health legislation in many countries, including the eight Australian jurisdictions. Multiple approaches have been proposed to assess and monitor the compliance of States Parties’ mental health legislation with the CRPD, and to evaluate its success in protecting and promoting the human rights of people with disabilities. This article reports an effort to index the impact of legislation on human rights by measuring changes in the prevalence of compulsory treatment orders applied to people with mental illness after the introduction of CRPD influenced mental health legislation in the Australian state of Queensland. We found that despite reforms intended to enhance patient autonomy, the prevalence of compulsory treatment orders increased after implementation of the new legislation. Possible reasons behind this unintended consequence of the legislative reform may include a lack of systematized voluntary alternatives to compulsory treatment, a paternalistic and restrictive culture in mental health services and risk aversion in clinicians and society. We recommend that the mental health and social policy as well as legislative reforms need to go further to align with the human rights framework of the CRPD.

Item ID: 66004
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-6386
Copyright Information: Pubished Version: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Accepted Version: OA in an Institutional Repository under a CC BY-NC-ND license after an embargo period of 24 months.
Funders: Griffith University
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2021 02:18
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320221 Psychiatry (incl. psychotherapy) @ 34%
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4803 International and comparative law > 480307 International humanitarian and human rights law @ 33%
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4805 Legal systems > 480501 Access to justice @ 33%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200499 Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified @ 34%
23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2304 Justice and the law > 230407 Legislation, civil and criminal codes @ 33%
23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2304 Justice and the law > 230408 Rehabilitation and correctional services @ 33%
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