High-Level Conference "Of Unsound Mind":

Convention-compliant approaches to the execution of judgments
concerning involuntary detention and treatment on mental health grounds
27 March 2024 - Strasbourg


 Concept Note of the event

 Watch the event

 Progamme of the event

Recent years have seen considerable development in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights in matters relating to mental health and psychiatric compulsion. While the basic Convention principles established in the last quarter of the twentieth century remain intact, developments in the case law since that time have significantly shifted the legal ethos. Reflecting developments in disability and human rights nationally and internationally, the European Court is rearticulating its psychiatric jurisprudence.

At present there are a number of cases pending under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers, concerning a variety of countries, where general measures are required to address problems highlighted by the Court under Articles 3 (Prohibition of torture), 5 (Right to liberty) and 8 (Right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention, concerning involuntary detention and treatment on grounds of mental ill-health.

The conference aims to clarify the relevant legal standards regarding rule of law safeguards and conditions in institutions, and also to provide inspiring examples of Convention-compliant practice. This one-day event will include speakers such as practicians working in psychiatric institutions, persons with lived experience, civil society, as well as national and Council of Europe experts.

 Setting the scene 

Prof. Peter BARTLETT

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Professor of Mental Health, Law School of Law and Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham

Introduction and broad context

Laurence LWOFF

Head of Human Rights and Biomedicine Division, Secretary of the Steering Committee for Human Rights in the fields of Biomedicine and Health (CDBIO)

Council of Europe initiatives


Senior Counselor of the Italian Senate

Legislative and policy development process

Georgiana PASCU

Senior Programme Manager, Centre for Legal Resources (Romania)

Civil society involvement in legislative and policy development process


Secretariat, European Network of (ex) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP)

Service users involvement in legislative and policy development process


 Procedures and safeguards 


Judge, European Court of Human Rights

Outline of the relevant requirements under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights


Expert, Human Rights Centre, Finland

Relevant requirements under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in the light of X. v. Finland


Litigation Director a.i., Validity Foundation

Effective Legal Assistance


 Treatment and conditions 


Member of the CPT

Outline of the relevant standards of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment


Klinikum Bremen Ost (Germany)

Minimising treatment compulsion


Expert by Experience, Choice Support

On life in institution


Mobile Teams for Crisis Intervention, Brussels

Institutions and community alternatives