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Peter Bartlett

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Professor of Mental Health Law, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Expertise Summary

Following two degrees in philosophy at the University of Toronto, Peter Bartlett read law at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, Canada. After his call to the bar in 1988, he served as Law Clerk to the Justice of the Ontario High Court and then as research associate to the Ontario Enquiry on Mental Competency. He obtained his doctorate in 1993, and joined the School of Law at the University of Nottingham, where in April 2005 he was appointed to the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Chair in Mental Health Law.

Professor Bartlett's research interests are primarily in the area of mental disability (including both psycho-social disability/mental illness and learning disability), both in England and Wales and internationally. He has provided advice regarding law reform in Lesotho and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for six years (four as chair) served on the board of the Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC), a human rights organisation based in Budapest. From 2013-14, he was specialist advisor to the House of Lords Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee on the Mental Capacity Act. His research interests include the Mental Health Act 1983 (England and Wales), the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (England and Wales), and the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He is also interested in the history of law and psychiatry, particularly in England.

Teaching Summary

My primary teaching interests are in the area mental disability law (including both people with mental health/psychosocial disabilities and intellectual disability) but I also teach health care law… read more

Research Summary

Mental Health Law (historical and current);Murders of gay men (historical and current).

Recent Publications

PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising in all areas of mental health and mental disabilities law, and am open to a variety of theoretical, doctrinal and socio-legal approaches to those fields. Illustrative interests include;

  • The application of the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (in both cases, as amended in 2007), either in general or with reference to particular groups of patients, and in either a civil or criminal context
  • The scope, interpretation, and application of international law, including the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), to persons with mental health problems/psychosocial disabilities and learning disabilities.
  • The use and effectiveness (if any!) of compulsion on these groups
  • The efficacy of legal remedies for these groups
  • The use and efficacy of discrimination law (eg., the Disability Discrimination Act) for these groups
  • Historical aspects of law relating to mental illness, mental disability and psychosocial disability.

Current PhD Students

Completed PhD Students

  • McRae, Leon : The Rehabilitation of Personality Disordered Offenders: A Foucauldian Analysis
  • Munro, Penelope: The Discreditation of Mad People within Legal and Psychiatric Decision Making: A Systems Theory Approach

My primary teaching interests are in the area mental disability law (including both people with mental health/psychosocial disabilities and intellectual disability) but I also teach health care law more broadly. In particular, I am interested in English mental health law (both current and historical), the application of the European Convention on Human Rights to people with mental disabilities, and the application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to people with mental disabilities.

School of Law

Law and Social Sciences Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 5700
fax: +44 (0)115 951 5696
email: law@nottingham.ac.uk