Course ID: :207337


The aim of this course is to explore the various facets of mental health law in the criminal and civil contexts, focusing on particular areas of concern as reflected in the case law.  Mental illness poses unique difficulties for a legal system that is premised on self-determination and the rights of the individual, as the courts struggle to find a balance between the recognition of those rights and the necessity for assessment or intervention where decision-making capacity is imperiled.  Those who suffer from mental illness also often face unique obstacles, as their illness frequently goes unrecognized, and may give rise to stigma and discrimination.    

Like many course designations, mental health law actually covers a broad range of legal categories and the cases are quite diverse.  Throughout the course, a recurrent theme will be the protection of the rights of those who suffer from a mental illness, and the need to balance those rights against competing concerns about the need for treatment, public safety and other social interests. We review topics such as the civil committal process, capacity assessments, addictions, NCR findings,  review board decisions, confidentiality, and the duty to warn

Components: Seminar

Assessment Method: Essay/Papers 80%, Participation 20%

Degree Requirement Fulfilled: Substantial Term Paper

Prerequisite: Upper Yr JD only