Commission welcomes the review of the Scottish Mental Health Act

The Scottish Human Rights Commission welcomes the review of the Mental Health Act announced today in the Scottish Parliament.

Judith Robertson, Chair of the Commission, said:

"People's rights are affected by mental health laws in many ways, including whether they can exercise choice and control over their own care and treatment, how their liberty is affected and their rights to health. 

"The Commission has called for a comprehensive review of mental health legislation for some time. We have expressed concerns about whether current legislation is effective at protecting and promoting the rights of those who need support with their mental health.

"We therefore welcome this review as an important opportunity to ensure that any new mental health legislation contains the right safeguards and provisions to protect people's rights as fully as possible.

 "We particularly welcome that the review will focus on improving compliance with the full range of people's rights, including the UN Disability Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.  Importantly, it will also consider the role of incapacity legislation which presents similar challenges in realising people's human rights."