It is not news that COVID19 has monopolised discussion in the last year, and its affect in mental health and mental disability law will no doubt be of interest to some contributors to this stream – fair enough!  We should also remember, though, that COVID is not the only game in town.  Legislative amendments for England and Wales are expected flowing from the Wessely Committee, and the new Liberty Protection Safeguards will presumably be implemented soon.  In Scotland, the Scott Review continues its work.  At the international level, it is increasingly clear that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is changing what is expected of mental health and mental capacity law.  And in the whole fallout from Brexit, questions undoubtedly arise as to how the role that Europe had been developing in mental health law will transition into UK domestic law.

While these legal developments provide a particularly apt occasion for the stream, papers from all areas of the law relating to mental health, mental capacity and mental disability are welcome, including:

  • Civil, criminal or informal mechanisms of control, in hospital or in the community

  • Supported decision-making and supported accommodation

  • The law relating to disability and welfare benefits, and issues relating to care and programmes in the community

  • Issues relating to discrimination on the basis of mental disability (be it mental health issues, psychosocial disabilities, or learning disabilities)

  • International law relating to people with mental disabilities  

  • The role of administration or caregivers in the provision of services

  • The role or experience of service users in mental health care, and research into mental health care.

There is no restriction on methodology:  papers may be empirical, policy-centred, historical, analytic, traditional legal, or theoretical, in approach. 

The SLSA is an interdisciplinary organization.  Papers are welcome from any academic background, and from people at any stage of their career. Proposals from people with lived experience of mental distress are welcome.

The stream coordinators are happy to consider joint sessions with other streams in the conference where appropriate.

Please feel free to circulate this call for papers to interested scholars and other interested persons working in any discipline related to law and mental disability.


Peter Bartlett ( and Amanda Keeling (