Mental incapacity or diminished mental capacity
There are situations where people have committed a criminal offence in a state of mental incapacity or diminished mental capacity. This incapacity could have resulted from either a mental disorder or a mental disability. It is also possible that a person may have developed mental incapacity after the conviction.
In a case of mental incapacity, the court frees the person from criminal liability. Where the person has acquired mental incapacity after the conviction, the court cancels the punishment. However, in both cases, the court may order the application of compulsory treatment, including involuntary placement in a mental health care institution.
In a case of diminished mental capacity, the court cannot free the person from liability, but can cancel or diminish the punishment. In this case the court may also order the application of compulsory treatment, including involuntary placement in a mental health care institution.
Involuntary placement & Human rights
Human rights state that involuntary placement in hospital is a form of detention. It deprives a person of physical liberty and can interfere with private and family life.
You should not be placed in mental health care institution frivolously and without a very good reason. In other words, the placement must not be unlawful. It is also important that when you are placed in a mental health care institution, you are treated with respect, receive adequate medical treatment and are held in humane and adequate conditions.
Articles 13, 14, 59, 68 – 70, 91
Articles 592 – 609, 635, 6351
Articles 93 - 96
Articles 2, 3, 5 (1) e), 8
Articles 6, 7, 9, 17
17 December 2013
3 July 2012
23 September 2014
22 September 2004
27 August 2013
CPT/Inf (2017) 16
16 December 2014
16 December 2014
17 December 1991