Timeline: Nine years of debates over the bill

1998: Government sets up expert committee to review the Mental Health Act 1983.

1999: An alliance of 15 agencies set up to campaign against expected government plans for compulsory community treatment.

1999: Green paper on mental health law reform, includes plans for compulsory community treatment.

2000: White paper on mental health law reform published.

2002: Draft Mental Health Bill.

2004: Following strong opposition to the first draft bill a second draft Mental Health Bill is published.

2005: Joint House of Commons/Lords scrutiny committee on bill publishes report with 107 recommendations for change.

2006: Government drops plans for extensive bill, instead deciding to reform 1983 Act.

2007: Much amended bill passed.

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