Mental health legislation in Ireland: A lot done, more to do

Zahid Latif, Mansoor A. Malik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mental health legislation is necessary to protect the rights of people with mental disorders, a vulnerable section of society. Ireland's new Mental Health Act 2001 was fully implemented in 2006 with the intent of bringing Irish legislation more in line with international standards, such as the European Convention on Human Rights and United Nations Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness. The new legislation introduced several important reforms in relation to involuntary admission, independent reviews of involuntary detention, consent to treatment, and treatment of children and adolescents. It also presented significant challenges in terms of service delivery and resources within Irish mental health services. Both mental health service users and providers reported a range of difficulties with the new legislation. In this article, we analyze the Irish Mental Health Act focusing on the enhanced protection that it provides for patients, but also highlighting some areas of concern such as the conduct of mental health tribunals, consent and capacity problems, resource allocation, and disruptions in mental health service delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-269
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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