The fact that you have a mental disorder or disability does not mean that you can be excluded from the procedure where decisions are made about you. You have various basic rights in the procedure where a judge is deciding whether to place you in a mental health care institution due to the danger created by the crime you have committed and your mental disability.

First of all, because your case is related to a criminal offence that you have allegedly committed, you have the same rights to fair trial as anyone else. Read more about your rights in criminal proceedings

Second, you have the following important rights:

Presence and participation

You have the right to be present in person at the pre-trial process and at the courtroom hearing. In cases of mental incapacity, an expert may advise the court that participation will not be good for you. In such a case you will have a representative and an attorney at law. You (if your health condition permits) and your attorney-at-law have the right to express your opinion during the hearing.

Attorney-at-law

Representation by an attorney-at-law is compulsory in these processes.  If you don’t have the financial resources, an attorney-at-law will be provided and paid for by the state. 

Language

If you do not understand and/or speak Latvian, the court has a duty to arrange a state paid translator during the hearing. You also have rights to receive a translation of the decision in the language you understand without delay. 

Appeal

You have the right to appeal, in regular order, a decision in case of mental incapacity or a judgment in case of diminished mental capacity. You can submit the appeal if you believe that there is a fault in the facts or in the legal reasoning, or if any of your fundamental rights were not respected. The procedure for how to appeal is explained in the Criminal Procedure Law. It is very important to observe the time limits allowed for appeals. A decision can be appealed within the deadlines specified in the decision. 

What human rights violation may there be?

If your rights in the decision making process are not respected, it may result in an unlawful or arbitrary placement in a mental health care institution and violate the right to liberty and the security of a person.  

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education