I am a Professor of Mental Health and Capacity Law situated within our School of Health and Social Care, and lead the university's interdisciplinary Centre for Mental Health Practice, Policy and Law Research (CMHPPLR). I also founded in 2013 and led the Centre for Mental Health and Capacity Law, which is now a CMHPPLR unit.
My areas of research, expertise and training/teaching are international, European and national human rights and mental health and mental capacity law and related law, policy and practice review and reform. I am particularly interested in decision-making and supported decision-making, achieving the right to the highest attainable standard of mental health, alternatives to coercive psychiatric treatment and other non-consensual interventions, and law and policy reform, lived experience experiences, equality and intersectionality (persons experiencing discrimination because of a number of different characteristics) issues and institutional, judicial and state responses in these areas. It is essential that law, policy and practice and related research works meaningfully and effectively for those who are subject to it.
I work with a number of public and voluntary sector organisations and bodies and regulatory bodies in the field of mental health, mental capacity and/or human rights. I regularly publish and speak/present at conferences and seminars .
My recent work has included/includes:
1. Law and policy reform - I am currently a member of the Scottish Mental Health Law Review (Scott Review) Executive Team and lead the Review's Capacity and Support for Decision-Making workstream. I was previously an expert advisor to the Scottish Independent Review of Learning Disability and Autism in the Mental Health Act and a member of the Deprivation of Liberty and Supported Decision-Making Working Groups in the Scottish Government review of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act.
2. Stakeholder experiences of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland.
3. Accommodations for persons living with dementia in the workplace.
4. The impact of COVID-19 and related restrictions on law, policy and practice relating to persons with mental disabilities.
The rights of, and law relating to, persons with mental health and mental capacity do not exist within disciplinary silos and requires a strong inter-disciplinary approach. This is why I am based in the School of Health and Social Care but at the same time have strong links with the Law Subject Group in the Business School and with external academics and stakeholders.
I am a council member of the Scottish Universities Law Institute, and a member of the Organising Committee of the UK and Ireland Mental Diversity Law Network, the Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law and the International Guardianship Network.
I very much welcome enquiries and applications from potential Ph.D candidates relating to my research interests.