Mental health law review group: member biographies

Biographies of group members.

Professor Jill Stavert

Jill is a Law Professor and founder and Director of the Centre for Mental Health and Capacity Law at Edinburgh Napier University. Her areas of research and expertise are mental health and capacity law and related international, European and national human rights. She has worked with several public, and voluntary and monitoring bodies in this field and has also been an adviser to the Independent Review of Learning Disability and Autism in the Mental Health Act.

Her recent research has included the Three Jurisdictions Project which investigated the compatibility of UK-wide capacity laws with Article 12 UNCRPD, the Scotland’s Mental Health and Capacity Law; the Case for Reform report with the Mental Welfare Commission and the Employer Responses to Dementia in the Workplace project. She is currently Principal Investigator on the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland: the Views and Experiences of Patients, Named Persons, Practitioners and Tribunal Panel Members project (funded by the Nuffield Foundation).

Colin McKay

Colin has been Chief Executive of the Mental Welfare Commission since 2014. The Commission is a statutory agency responsible for protecting the human rights of people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions, and oversees the operation of mental health and incapacity law in Scotland. He is a visiting professor at the Centre for Mental Health and Capacity Law at Edinburgh Napier University, and a board member of a law centre, JustRight Scotland.

Previously Colin worked in the Scottish Government for 14 years, including four years working on mental health law reform, first as secretary to the Millan Committee, and then as Bill manager for the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. He also worked in Government on justice, strategy and public service reform. Before that he was a solicitor, and spent 10 years with ENABLE Scotland, where he led campaigning and policy work, established the ENABLE Trustee Service, and served as a Mental Welfare Commissioner for two years. He has a particular interest in the interface of law, care and ethics.

Karen Martin 

Karen Martin is a carer for her husband who has mental health and physical health issues. Through this, and her paid employment with Carers Trust Scotland, she has gained a vast amount of experience and knowledge about issues affecting carers and the impact being an unpaid carer can have on the mental and physical health of the carer.

As the Mental Health Coordinator with Carers Trust Scotland her role is to promote the rights of mental health carers; develop greater understanding of impact of caring on carers of all ages and providing training and information to carers of all ages on positive mental health and wellbeing.  Karen is also a member of various advisory bodies, representing the views of carers at these groups.

Appointed as a General Member of Mental Health Tribunal Scotland in 2005, Karen provides training on aspects of mental health legislation, in particular use of advanced statements and role of named person as well as bringing awareness of carer issues to tribunal members. 

Graham Morgan

Graham Morgan currently works part time with the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland and is a volunteer with HUG (action for mental health) which is a voice for people with mental health problems in the Highlands. 

He was the manager of HUG for twenty years before this and prior to that had a similar role with CAPS helping people with mental health problems have a voice in Edinburgh and the Lothians. In his early twenties he helped set up McMurphy's, a drop in centre for young people with mental health problems run by young people. 

He has an MBE for services to mental health and was a Royal College of Psychiatrists service user contributor of the year in 2012. He has carried out extensive work around compulsory treatment and supported decision making. He has a diagnosis of schizophrenia and depression and has been treated under a compulsory community order for the last ten years which he has written about in his recent memoir START. 

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