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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04703: Ross Thomson (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 15 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether legislative reform is required to bring its mental health and incapacity legislation into line with human rights law.

Answered by: Maureen Watt 23 November 2016

Scottish mental health and incapacity legislation is based on rights and principles.

The Scottish Government is working with partners including the Mental Welfare Commission, the Office of the Public Guardian and professional and human rights bodies to develop changes to the Adults with Incapacity Act, in relation to deprivation of liberty, and to assess compliance with UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by 2018.

The most recent reform of mental health legislation was through the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015, which was passed by the Scottish Parliament last year. The 2015 Act strengthened measures in the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003 that promote support for decision making, including those for independent advocacy, advance statements and named persons. The 2015 Act is currently being implemented and we are looking at ways to further promote rights-based practice under the 2003 Act, including when updating the statutory guidance in the Code of Practice. Alongside this, we are committed to a review which will consider whether the provisions in the 2003 Act fulfil the needs of people with Learning Disabilities and Autism.