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Admission to and Discharge from Psychiatricand Related Institutions

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses admission to and discharge (release) from psychiatric institutions. It is principally concerned with the terms of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and its associated case law. This is the area that has attracted the most cases taken to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) relating to mental disability. The general right to liberty under Article 5(1) is subject to a variety of exceptions. These exceptions are subject to an overriding requirement that they be ‘in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law’. In Winterwerp v. the Netherlands case, the ECtHR held that the validity of continued confinement depends upon the persistence of a disorder of the required severity. As discussed in the chapter, there has been further elaboration regarding these conditions in the context of release.

Keywords: ECtHR; European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR); legal confinement; mental disability; psychiatric institutions; Winterwerp v. the Netherlands case



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