The first mental health legislation passed by the Scottish
Parliament breaches the European Convention of Human Rights
according to the legal challenge of three patients appealing
against their detention in Carstairs state hospital.
The Mental Health (Public Safety and Appeals) (Scotland) Act
1999 was passed following the public outcry on the successful
appeal and release of former Carstairs patient Noel Ruddle. The new
act introduced public safety as a consideration in appeals and
sought to close the loophole which could free untreated
Karl Anderson, Alexander Reid and Brian Doherty claimed in the
Court of Session, Edinburgh that the legislation breaches Article 5
of the convention, which is the right to liberty. The judge is
expected to give his judgement within two weeks.