The International Journal of Mental Health and Capacity Law invites contributions to a special issue on the theme of the interplay between protective mechanisms and mental health detention. Papers could cover a range of issues, including but not limited to:


  • the roles of various human rights institutions, including the UN Committee Against Torture, the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture, and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, in protecting the rights of people in detention by reason of their mental health or intellectual disability
  • the relationship between these bodies and their standards and other relevant standards, such as those being developed by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in protecting the rights of those with compromised mental capacity
  • good practice in the work of National Preventive Mechanisms in making sure that rights are practical and effective
  • the work of other national bodies, such as ombudspersons and national human rights institutions, in supporting the rights of detained people, including through collaboration with NPMs
  • the architecture of, and relationship between, the various relevant human rights conventions and norms in the context of mental health detention, including the CAT, OPCAT, the CRPD, the ICCPR and the ECHR
  • the standards developing under the various other regional mechanisms promulgated by the Organisation of American States, the African Union and the League of Arab States
  • the approach adopted by constitutional courts to the need to secure protection from ill-treatment by people who are vulnerable in light of their mental health or restrictions on their mental capacity. 



We wish that this issue will bring together work by researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from different countries, and we are particularly keen to feature the work of authors who expressly make international comparisons or take a comparative approach. The expectation is that proposals will show an awareness of international perspectives; and that the contents would be of interest and relevance to an international audience. 


The International Journal of Mental Health and Capacity Law ( is a peer-reviewed open access journal published by the University of Northumbria. Our general guidance for authors can be found via this website, where our past issues can be viewed and downloaded. The editorial team for this special issue would be happy to discuss ideas for potential contributions: please communicate with the Editor in Chief, Kris Gledhill ( in this regard. We anticipate publishing this issue in early 2019 and accordingly wish to receive proposals by the end of April 2018 with a view to articles being submitted for peer review in the middle of 2018.


The special issue will be edited by Dr Judy Laing (Reader in Law at the University of Bristol), Dr Nora Sveaass (Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Vice-Chairperson of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture and former member of the UN Committee Against Torture), Mat Kinton (Senior Policy Analyst at the Care Quality Commission) and Kris Gledhill (Professor of Law at AUT Law School, Auckland, and Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Mental Health and Capacity Law).