In Latvia the procedure for placement in a mental health care institution against your will is explained in the Medical Treatment Law

The placement procedure must comply with the following steps:

Step 1 – Examination in the institution

Within 72 hours after being brought to the institution, you must be examined by the council of psychiatrists, which make a decision whether to keep you in the institution.

Step 2 – Information about the decision

You must be informed about the decision. In addition, your attorney at law or a family member must be informed of the decision. You have the right to indicate who should be informed. If you don’t have an attorney at law, one will be appointed by the court when it receives the notification of the decision (see the next steps).

Step 3 – Notification of the court

If the council has decided to keep you in the institution, the institution must inform the court within 24 hours and send the decision and the reasons for the necessity of placement to the court. 

Step 4 – Notification about the court hearing

After receiving the information, the judge must immediately inform the prosecutor, the patient’s attorney at law and the psychiatric hospital about the date of the consideration of the placement in a mental health care institution against one’s will. 

Step 5 – Court hearing

The hearing must take place within 72 hours after the court has received the documents. If more time is needed (no more than 48 hours), the judge must issue a special motivated decision. 

Step 6 – Reasoned decision of the court

The judge may initially approve a placement in a psychiatric hospital for up to 2 months. The decision must very clearly explain the grounds on which you will be kept in a psychiatric hospital and especially why that is necessary in your case. The reasons cannot be superficial and generic.

Step 7 – Information about the decision

The decision must be given to you, your legal representative and other participants in the hearing immediately. 

Step 8 – Appeal

You have the right to appeal the decision within 10 days from the day you received the decision. You can submit the appeal if you believe that there is a fault in the facts or in the legal reasoning, or any of your fundamental rights were not respected. The appeal procedure is explained in the Medical Treatment Law

What human rights violation may there be?

If your involuntary placement process did not comply with the given procedural requirements, it may result in a violation of the right to liberty and security of the person. 

Read more about the complaint possibilities.

Human Rights Guide

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