The Insanity Defence, Indefinite Detention and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Dublin University Law Journal (2018)
35 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2020
Date Written: 2018
The defence of insanity has long provided a means by which persons with a psychosocial disability can be detained in a designated facility, for the purpose of receiving medical treatment. As such, the operation of the insanity defence results in the removal of the right to liberty and the right to consent to treatment, for potentially an indefinite period of time. The defence has been subject to criticism for many decades, but it is now time to take stock of its relevance, especially in light of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This paper will critically examine the application of the insanity defence in Ireland and investigate its future considering Ireland’s expected ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Keywords: Insanity, Capacity, Right to Liberty, Indefinite Detention, Criminal Law
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