Protection of Persons with Mental Disorders in Public International Law – A Regional Model

Agata Szwed
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Issue 4, 1047-1056, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2848


Purpose: The main goal of the research is to present international legal regulations at the regional level that provide protection for such persons and to discuss their potential effectiveness. An attempt will be made to identify the obligations of the international community to ensure their safety and due care. Design/Methodology/Approach: The article will use two basic research methods from the legal sciences, first, the method of dogmatic research - the basic method of research on the grounds of legal sciences, and second, the method of comparative legal research - nowadays, it is no longer possible to avoid the interaction of individual branches of international law, for which separate judicial measures are often established. It will show similarities and differences in legal regulations in the area of the problems discussed. Findings: Further findings will be presented in a separate publication entitled “Protection of persons with mental disorders in public international law - a universal model”. International law provides dual protection for people with mental disorders. The first of these, called general protection for the purposes of this analysis, should be derived from human rights treaties. There can be no doubt that people with mental disorders are, as it were, originally entitled to human rights based on their inherent dignity. The second is the special protection which applies to certain categories of people (in this case the mentally ill). Only this correlation provides a legal framework for addressing the key problems of people with mental disorders, including their equal legal capacity, which leads to the elimination of discrimination and exclusion from the outside world. Practical Implications: The analysis of legal regulations may contribute to the understanding of how it is possible to achieve social inclusion of people with mental disorders, which de lege ferenda would allow the elimination of current barriers arising in this area. Further development of rights of persons with mental disorders should consist primarily in extending the enforcement of their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights at the national level to meet the expectations imposed by public international law. Originality/Value: The research contributed to the narrowing of the research gap on the protection of persons with mental disorders (as a certain individual group of persons who are entitled to special privileges in order to improve their social position and to make opportunities equal) in public international law.

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