Mental health law review update: December 2019

A progress update on the work to review mental health law in Scotland.

In Spring of 2019, the Minister for Mental Health announced an independent review of Mental Health law in Scotland, chaired by John Scott QC. This review began on 19 March 2019.

The main aim of the review is to improve the rights and protections of those living with mental illness and remove barriers to those caring for their health and welfare.

The review will examine developments in mental health law and practice on compulsory detention and on care and treatment since the current legislation came into force in 2005.

A review group will also make recommendations that reflect people’s social, economic and cultural rights and will consider the future shape of incapacity, mental health and adult support and protection legislation.

It follows on from current work to review incapacity law and practice, and a review of learning disability and autism in the Mental Health Act. The final report for the independent review of Learning Disability and Autism in the Mental Health Act, has been published.

The review will gather views from a very wide range of people to ensure that the views of service users, those with lived experience and those that care for them shape the future of the legislation. A call for evidence will be published at the end of January 2020. Individuals and organisations will have the opportunity to tell of their experiences about mental health law and give their views about how it has affected them.

Local groups are welcome to arrange their own events to engage and gather evidence on this basis. We would be more than happy to attend and assist in the facilitation of any such events. Please email us to arrange this. 

We will launch a website for the review in January 2020. If you would like to be involved in the review, please contact the Secretariat (email: 

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