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Mental Health & Mental Capacity Law - LAW00046H

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  • Department: The York Law School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Isra Black
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

This module aims to provide students with theoretically informed insights into key elements of mental health and mental capacity law in England and Wales. This is pursued through the critical examination of the legal regimes contained in the Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983 and the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 respectively, in both civil and criminal contexts. Students will enrich their understanding of the law through exploration of essential concepts, such as mental capacity, best interests, dangerousness, and appropriate treatment, as well as their philosophical and/or political underpinnings and justifications. Students will apply their knowledge to a number of areas of current controversy, such as the detention and treatment of offenders with personality disorder, and treatment refusals by individuals with anorexia nervosa.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

This module aims to provide students with theoretically informed insights into key elements of mental health and mental capacity law in England and Wales. This is pursued through the critical examination of the legal regimes contained in the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 respectively, in both civil and criminal contexts. Students will enrich their understanding of the law through exploration of essential concepts, such as mental capacity, best interests, dangerousness, and appropriate treatment, as well as their philosophical and/or political underpinnings and justifications. Students will apply their knowledge to a number of areas of current controversy, such as the detention and treatment of offenders with personality disorder, and treatment refusals by individuals with anorexia nervosa.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will demonstrate:

  1. knowledge and understanding of mental health and mental capacity law in both civil and criminal contexts, as well as key concepts that underpin these legal regimes and their philosophical and/or political justifications;
  2. the ability to locate ambiguities, uncertainties, and controversies within mental health and mental capacity law and to synthesise and critically evaluate relevant doctrinal, philosophical and social commentary on these issues.
  3. the ability to formulate and present a reasoned choice between alternative proposals for reforming mental health and mental capacity law through critical judgement of the merits of particular arguments.
  4. the ability to apply knowledge and understanding of mental health and mental capacity law to offer evidenced conclusions, addressing complex actual and hypothetical problems that affect individuals subject to these legal regimes;
  5. the ability to conduct self-directed research on one area of mental health and/or mental capacity law, including accurate identification of research questions, retrieval, selection, and evaluation of appropriate source materials;
  6. the ability to communicate both orally and in writing, as evidenced by participation in plenaries and seminars and submission of formative and summative assessments respectively.

Module content

An indicative schedule is produced below for students' information.

Week 1

An introduction to mental health and mental capacity law.

Week 2

The Mental Capacity Act 2005

Week 3

The philosophy of mental capacity

Week 4

The ethics of surrogate decision making

Week 5

Reflection week

Week 6

The Mental Health Act 1983: civil detention and treatment

Week 7

The Mental Health Act 1983: release from detention and care in the community

Week 8

The Mental Health Act 1983: criminal regime

Week 9

Key concepts in mental health law: dangerousness and appropriate treatment

Week 10

Issues at the interface of mental health and mental capacity law

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
3000 Word Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

Coursework tasks may consist in essays, problem questions, and case commentaries.

Students will also have the opportunity to choose their own coursework task, subject to agreement by the module team.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
3000 Word Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Ongoing formative feedback from tutor and peers through interactive plenaries and seminars.

Formative feedback from tutor on coursework plan.

Tutors provide students individualised feedback on summative assessment.

Indicative reading

Bartlett, P and Sandland, R, Mental Health Law: Policy and Practice. (OUP 2014)

Hale, B, Mental Health Law (6th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2017)

Jackson, E, Medical Law: Text, Cases and Materials (5th edn, OUP 2019)

Peay, J, Mental Health and Crime. (Routledge 2011)

 



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students