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Homepage :: Legal issues :: Use of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984 :: The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003

The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003

Mental health law in Scotland is in the process of being reformed. This new Act has been passed by the Scottish Parliament and is expected to be brought into force on a staged basis from October 2004. Sections relating to civil compulsion are expected to come into force from April 2005.

The new Act retains the current three-pronged structure of civil compulsion:

  • 72-hour (emergency detention)
  • 28-day (short-term detention)
  • longer-term (through what are called ‘Compulsory Treatment Orders’).

However, the criteria for compulsion are more clearly spelt out, as are the procedures that must be followed. More detail on these procedures will be provided in a Code of Practice on the new Act, which will be published in advance of the Act being brought into effect. A draft of the Code of Practice will be published for consultation during 2004.

For more information on the new Act and on its implementation, contact the Mental Health Division of the Scottish Executive Health Department, St Andrew’s House, Edinburgh EH1 3DG; http://www.scotland.gov.uk/health/mentalhealthlaw.

Last edited: 2/2/2004


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