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Mental Health Law: Mental Health law

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

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 and the List of Current Serials for complete information on current titles and locations. If you require further assistance please contact us.

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Last updated:

Katherine Read, Sept 2020

About the author KR

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


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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.

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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. 

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

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

Eldergill, A.  Mental health review tribunals law and practice 1998     

Fennel, P. Treatment without consent: Law psychiatry and the treatment of mentally disordered people since 1845 1996           

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               

Jones, R.  Mental Health Act manual  22nd ed. 2019              

Mackay, R. Mental condition defences in the criminal law 1995         

Peay, J. (ed.)  Criminal justice and the mentally disordered 1998           

Richardson, G.  Law process and custody: prisoners and patients 1993   

Walker, N. (ed.)  Dangerous people 1996

Weereratne, A. Butterworth’s new law guide Mental Capacity Act 2005: personal welfare decisions 2008            


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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 appeal reports

Criminal law review

European law review

European human rights law review

European human rights reports

Gazette: weekly journal of the Law Society

Journal of law and society

Law reports (The)

Modern law review

New law journal

Public law

Psychiatry, psychology and law


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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 List of Serials and 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 the Electronic Law Library 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


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