The Human Right to Justice for Older Persons With Mental Health Conditions

Mitchell, Bill, Byrnes, Andrew, Bergman, Annaliese, and Peisah, Carmelle (2021) The Human Right to Justice for Older Persons With Mental Health Conditions. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 29 (10). pp. 1027-1032.

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This article explores the nature and extent of barriers to access to justice that older persons experience, including those with mental health conditions. It finds that access to justice—the right to fair, prompt and responsive decisions by administrative decision-makers and equal access to courts and tribunals to obtain timely and effective remedies—is not only an important right in itself but also enables the enjoyment of many other human rights. Yet older persons, particularly those with mental health conditions, face a significant “justice gap.” Ageist attitudes, laws and practices interact with other forms of bias such as mentalism, sexism, ableism, racism, homophobia, and heterosexism exacerbating older persons’ disadvantage and marginalization, particularly those with mental health conditions, and older indigenous persons. These discriminatory practices, together with the phenomena of elder abuse, all severely limit older persons’ access to timely and responsive justice. International and national standards, both general and specific to older persons, have been shown to be inadequate to respond to this justice gap. An international standard in the form of a binding legal obligation that specifically addresses older persons’ rights of access to justice is needed urgently as part of a new international treaty on the human rights of older persons.

Item ID: 69446
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1545-7214
Keywords: Legal issues, access to justice, indigenous aging, human rights, international standards, intersectionality
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2021 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2022 03:31
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