Eleanor Roosevelt, 1958

'Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person... Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.' Eleanor Roosevelt, 1958

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Call for papers: SLSA Annual Conference Mental Health and Mental Capacity Law stream

Every year the Socio-Legal Studies Association holds an annual conference, with a fantastic stream on Mental Health and Mental Capacity Law (co-ordinated by Peter Bartlett).  It's one of my favourite conferences, and is attractive to people from a range of backgrounds, not just legal, as the papers use many different methodologies and it touches upon many issues of broader policy and critical relevance.

The call for papers for the 2014 annual conference has opened.  As the call points out, this could be a very interesting year:

This years Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference is to be held at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
Initial Deadline for submissions: 27 January 2014
The past year has been a lively one for those interested in mental health and mental capacity law. The Supreme Court has made its first decision interpreting the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (and presumably its decision on the meaning of ‘deprivation of liberty’ will be handed down before the Conference). The Court of Protection continues to cut new ground, most notably in areas relating to best interests. We continue to see the results of how the Scots legislation and the Mental Health Act 2007 south of the border, are working in practice (CTOs, anyone?). At the international level, it is increasingly clear that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is changing what is expected of mental health and mental capacity law.
While these legal developments provide a particularly apt occasion for the stream, papers from all areas of the law relating to mental health, mental capacity and mental disability are welcome, including:
• Civil, criminal or informal mechanisms of control, in hospital or in the community
• The law relating to incapacity benefits, and other issues relating to care and programmes in the community;
• Issues relating to discrimination on the basis of mental disability (be it mental health issues, psychosocial disabilities, or learning disabilities)
• International law relating to people with mental disabilities;
• The role of administration or care-givers in the provision of services;
• The role or experience of service users in mental health care.
We impose no restriction on methodology: papers may be empirical, policy-centred, historical, analytic, traditional legal, or theoretical, in approach.
The SLSA is an interdisciplinary organization, and papers are welcome from any academic background, and from people at any stage of their career.
The stream co-ordinator is also happy to consider joint sessions with other streams in the conference where appropriate.
Please feel free to circulate this call for papers to interested scholars and other interested persons working in any discipline related to law and mental disability.
The stream co-ordinator is Peter Bartlett ( Please feel free to contact him with enquiries about the stream. Proposals for papers should be submitted online through the conference website.
About the conference
The Socio-Legal Studies Conference occurs annually, in 2014 at the Department of Law at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. It is among the major socio-legal studies conferences internationally, attracting a wide variety of scholars, and subject streams within the conference span the range of topics in socio-legal studies.
All attendees (including presenters) must register for the conference and pay the required attendance fee. Reduced rates are available prior to 7 February 2014, and also for students andSLSA members. Scholarships are also available for students. For more information, see the conference web site.

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