International Human Rights and Mental Disability Law
This course will examine the relationship between constitutional mental disability law and international human rights law, primarily as that relationship deals with questions of legislative drafting, legal representation, institutional treatment, community care, and forensic mental health systems. It will cover a comparison of civil and common law systems, an overview of international human rights law, an overview of regional human rights tribunals, an overview of U.S. constitutional mental disability law, the role of sanism and pretextuality in understanding developments in this area, mental disability law in an international human rights context, comparative mental disability law, the use of institutional psychiatry as a means of suppressing political dissension, the universal factors in this area of law, and the globalization of disability law. The focus will be on both American law and on international human rights norms (e.g., the U.N. Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness), the developing body of case law in the Inter-American and European Courts and Commissions on Human Rights, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.. The grade is based on a take-home midterm exam and a take-home final exam.
This upper-level substantive course explores the legal and political framework for human rights and mental disability law from an international perspective and a U.S. perspective.
Recommended for the following Professional Pathways: Civil Rights/Civil Liberties; Family Law; Government/Public Sector; Immigration; International Law/Human Rights