Mental disability and law
Professor Peter Bartlett, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Professor of Mental Health Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, D&IRH Steering Committee member.
Professor Bartlett’s research interests are primarily in the area of law relating to mental disability (including both psycho-social disability/mental illness and learning disability), in England and Wales and internationally. His current research in mental health, wellbeing and infrastructure, for the Institute of Mental Health is a joint venture between UoN and Nottingham NHS Trust. The objective is to make sure that service users are involved in building projects and to thus redress the common practice of excluding the people being studied from having an active role in the study. Much of the research on disability excludes people with disabilities.
Professor Bartlett has defended the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which is designed to increase disability rights and came into effect in 2008 and was ratified by 172 jurisdictions. His research has demonstrated that the CRPD is a necessary challenge to the inequalities in our system and redresses the previous treatment of people with mental disabilities as second-class citizens. CRPD provides a compelling vision of equality which enables persons with disabilities to enjoy full equal citizenship. Professor Bartlett provides advice on how the CRPD should work in practice to make sure that people with disabilities get to make choices about their lives and participate in the development of services that they want rather than have services imposed on them. His research ensures that these rights are made real for people with disability.
Professor Bartlett was commissioned by the Lesotho Government through WHO and funded by the Nuffield Foundation to provide advice regarding law reform in Lesotho. He is the adviser to the Council of Europe for mental health projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Serbia and Armenia, 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 advising how the UK should carry on leading in mental health law.