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Defending Mentally Disordered Persons
Kris Gledhill
Cover of Defending Mentally Disordered Persons
First edition |  April 2012  | 848pp
ISBN: Pb 978 1 903307 28 1

Defending Mentally Disordered Persons is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to representing persons with mental disorder in the criminal justice system.

'There is nothing else on the market which provides such a comprehensive treatment of this subject matter. A book that ought to be on the shelf of every prison law practice.' insidetime, September 2012

Lawyers representing potentially vulnerable clients need to consider what special needs their clients may have and apply the relevant legal provisions with that in mind. This book provides the bridge between mental health law and criminal law and provides criminal practitioners with the necessary tools to navigate the appropriate route through the criminal justice system if the client may have a mental disorder.

Defending Mentally Disordered Persons sets out the civil and criminal legal framework, which is in large part governed by the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964, and the interaction of UK legislation with the European Convention on Human Rights. It covers all aspects of the legal process from initial contact with the client at a police station through to procedure and evidence, substantive criminal law, sentencing, treatment of prisoners and appeals. As well as comprehensively setting out the law, the author also provides arguments for where the law could be developed further.

Contents include:


- Introduction to the civil and criminal legal framework
- Detention for treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983
- Powers of arrest under the Mental Health Act 1983
- Treatment in the police station
- Decision to prosecute
- Bail
- Remand prisoners and transfer to hospital
- Inability to participate at trial: fitness to plead
- Evidence: admissibility, adverse inference and witnesses
- Defences of insanity, diminished responsibility, provocation and loss of control
- Sentencing: custodial sentences, hospital orders and community sentences
- Treatment of prisoners
- Appeals

Essential reading for criminal practitioners, academics and students of criminal and mental health law.

Contents (pdf: 64Kb)

The author

Kris Gledhill is a barrister who specialised in mental health and prison law and was a legal member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal. He is now a senior lecturer at the Auckland University Law School, New Zealand, with research interests in mental health law, prison law and comparative criminal and human rights law, and has recently been appointed as the inaugural Director of the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice. Kris is editor of the Mental Health Law Reports and the Prison Law Reports and author of books including Mental Health Tribunals - essential cases (Southside Legal Publishing, 2nd edition, 2009).

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