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Mental Health Law: Mental Health law

An introduction to the library's holdings on Mental Health Law

Mental health law

Guide last updated by Katherine Read, November  2023

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This guide was created by Katherine Read, Principal Library Assistant at the IALS Library.


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In this guide

This guide aims to give a brief introduction to the Library's holdings on Mental Health Law. Please consult the Library Catalogue for complete information on current titles and locations. If you require further assistance please contact us.

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Introduction to the Library Catalogue

This Subject Guide only lists a selection of Library resources on Mental Health Law. To find additional resources you will need to search the Library Catalogue, which covers the complete holdings of the Library. It is possible to search for books, journals and series of law reports by author, title or keyword. Please note it is not possible to search for individual chapters, journal articles or legislation (e.g. individual Acts or SIs).

IALS Library is mainly open access and readers are able to browse the shelves in the main collection. There are two main exceptions to this:

  • Older items (marked RES or Depository on the catalogue record) are kept in the closed basement.
  • Key texts for LLM students are often kept in the Short Loan collection.

Please request these at the Library Enquiry Desk.

For more information on understanding the catalogue record and further guidance on the location of materials please refer to our guide Classmarks and the Location of Resources in the Library.


The Library classifies textbooks either by jurisdiction (GO13, GA2 etc.) or according to subject area, examples of which include Comparative Law (SB), Public International Law (SG) and Private International Law/ Conflict of Laws (SH). All classmark sections have a FOL section for oversize volumes, which is located on the same floor of the Library.

When you are searching the Library Catalogue for books, please note that only the current edition is held on the open shelves or in the Short Loan collection. IALS has a rich collection of previous editions held in the closed basement and these will display a Depository number on the catalogue. Please request previous editions from the Library Enquiry Desk. 

Common Law material on mental health law is shelved at SJ425
Criminal Law material relating to mental health law is shelved at SJ150 or GA2.D.4

The following list represents a selection of textbooks on mental health law . Please check the catalogue records for further information and location. Titles marked as e-books may also be available in print. Access from home requires your IALS library barcode and your  family name.  E books with 'open access' status on the catalogue are available to all users of this guide. 

Ashley Stein, M. and others  Mental health, legal capacity and human rights 2021 CUP (e-book)

Ashton, G. and others  Court of Protection practice 2022 LexisNexis 2022

Ashton, G.  et al.  Mental capacity law and practice  4th ed. 2018  LexisNexis         

Bartlett, P. Blackstone’s guide to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. 2nd ed. 2008            

Bartlett, P. & Sandland, R.  Mental health law: policy and practice 4th  ed. 2013        

Bartlett, P.  Mental disability and the European Convention on Human Rights. 2007 

Diesfeld, K & Freckelton, I   Involuntary detention and therapeutic jurisprudence : international perspectives on civil commitment   2003

Donnelly, M. Harding, R. & Tascioglu, E. Supporting legal capacity in socio-legal context. 2022 Hart (e-book) 

Gostin, L.  Principles of mental health law and policy  2010

Hale, B. Mental health law  5th ed. 2010

Herring, J. Vulnerable adults and the law  2016 OUP (e- book)

Jacob, R. Gunn, M. & Holland, A. Mental capacity legislation: principles and practice 2019  CUP (e-book)

Jones, R.  Mental Capacity Act manual 6th ed. 2018  S & M (e-book)              

Jones, R.  Mental Health Act manual  25th ed. 2022 S & M (e-book)

Wilson, K. (ed.)  Mental health law: abolish or reform?  2021 OUP (e-book)            


IALS Library holds a wide selection of current serial titles from many different jurisdictions. These are located on all floors of the Library. Some titles are only in printed volumes while others or available in both formats. For more detailed help, please refer to the guide on Finding journal articles. The following titles include articles on mental health law. A small selection of additional psychology online databases is accessible through EBSCO Academic Search Premier. which is made available by Senate House Library and can be accessed at IALS.

Criminal law review e-journal 

European law review  e-journal

European human rights law review  e-journal

Gazette: weekly journal of the Law Society  e-journal

Journal of law and society e-journal

Modern law review  e-journal

New law journal  

Public law  e-journal

Psychiatry, psychology and law  e-journal

Legislation and law reports

If you are interested in legislation or cases concerning mental health issues in specific countries you will need to consult the legislation or law reports for that jurisdiction.

Consult the Library Catalogue to find the general classmark for the country you require. Consult consolidations of legislation, digests or indexes to trace particular acts or cases.

Academic users may also use databases like Lexis/Westlaw to find UK, US, EU or international decisions. For further information please refer to Law Databases or ask at the Library Enquiry Desk.

You may also find it useful to refer to our guides on finding Legislation and Cases or check to see if we have a Jurisdiction Research Guide for the country you are interested in.

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Free internet sources

Eagle-i is an internet portal maintained and updated by IALS library staff. It allows you to search for quality web resources on mental health law 

A valuable free source is BAILII, the British and Irish Legal information Institute which is based and maintained at IALS. It provides free access to full text UK judgments and legislation on a wide range of subjects including mental health law and also links to other free World Law databases. Jurisdictions covered in these resources include Commonwealth countries eg. AustLII  (Australia) and CanLII (Canada), France, Germany, Italy, the USA and South Africa.

The following represent a sample of the available quality individual web resources on mental health law :

Care Quality Commission – Mental Health

Mental Health Lawyers Association

Mental Health Law Online.  Provides full text access to legislation and cases for health practitioners