This course examines 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 covers a comparison of civil and common law systems, an overview of international human rights law, an overview of regional human rights tribunals, , 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 is on both American law and on international human rights norms as well as the developing body of case law in the Inter-American and European Courts and Commissions on Human Rights. It carefully examines the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and its implications for lawyers and forensic mental health professionals. It considers all these issues in the context of the principles of therapeutic jurisprudence.
Michael L. Perlin, JD is Professor of Law Emeritus at New York Law School (NYLS), founding director of NYLS's Online Mental Disability Law Program, and founding director of NYLS's International Mental Disability Law Reform Project in its Justice Action Center. Author of over 30 books and 300 articles on topics including mental illness and the criminal justice system, mental disability law, and sexual violent predator legislation, Professor Perlin has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Psychiatry and Law’s Manfred Guttmacher Award. Before becoming a professor, Perlin was a Deputy Public Defender in New Jersey as well as the director of the Division of Mental Health Advocacy for the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate.
Heather Ellis Cucolo, JD is an adjunct professor and the current director of New York Law School’s Online Mental Disability Law Program. In addition to representing individuals facing civil commitment under both the New Jersey Mental Hygiene Law and the New Jersey’s Sexually Violent Predators Act, Professor Cucolo has published and lectured internationally on the representation and treatment of sexual offenders. She is recognized as one of the premiere experts in sexual violent predator law and has counseled attorneys, judges and clinicians on law and procedure in civil commitment proceedings and issues involving persons suffering from a mental disability or illness within the criminal justice system.
This training is designed to help you:
- To draw attention to societal blindness to the ongoing violations of international human rights law in the context of the institutional commitment and treatment of persons with mental disabilities
- To raise questions as to the potential role of forensic psychology in ameliorating these conditions
- To explain the significance of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to all forensic mental health professionals in all nations
- To understand the relationship between mental disability law and international human rights in a political context