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Psychiatry, Law and Ethics

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WPA Section on Psychiatry, Law and Ethics deals with legal and ethical issues related to the practice of psychiatry. There is a complex interplay between legal issues and ethical dilemmas in mental health care. This is a dynamic intersection, which is always evolving and transforming based on the predominant prevailing discourse.


The Section of Psychiatry, Law and Ethics draws on international conventions, past and present, as well as the moral philosophy and its application to psychiatry. While domestic legislation is different in different countries, Section of Psychiatry, Law and Ethics sets the tone for interpretation of contemporary legal and ethical issues. It is a platform for WPA members to discuss and debate controversies and challenges in this field. The list of members, activities of the section and publications by the section members will be regularly updated here.

Section Officers



Athanassios Douzenis

Athens University Medical School, 2nd Psychiatry Department,
Attikon University Hospital, 1 Rimini Street, 12462 Athens, Greece   
Phone: 30 2105832426
Fax: 30 2105326453


Kuruvilla Thomas - Co-chair - Psychiatry

Kuruvilla Thomas

Kusumagiri Hospital, Pushpamangalam, Kakkanad P.O,
Kochi-682030, India
Phone: +91 9846022631


Neeraj Gill 1[27229].jpg

Neeraj Gill

School of Medicine, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4222 

Building location (G40) Room 8.17
Phone: +61 7 5678 0113 


>> Please click here to see the Section Members list

Section Activities

Upcoming events


18th of May 2022:

Symposium on Codes of Ethics at the RANZCP Annual Congress in Sydney, 18 May, 2022 Prof Paul Appelbaum, Dr Izaak Lim and Sidney Bloch.

Previous activity

As part of the Section's ongoing efforts to support legal and ethical issues related to the practice of psychiatry, Professor Neeraj S Gill has been invited to chair a symposium on “Law and ethics of compulsory psychiatric treatment with special focus on Indigenous populations" at this years’ World Congress of Psychiatry, 2021, Bangkok (Virtual Congress). You can read the symposium summary here.

Our Section was pleased to co-sponsor a webinar with the Indian Psychiatric Society on the 22nd August 2021. The webinar will discuss "TREATMENT OF PERSONS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS IN INDIAN MENTAL HEALTH ESTABLISHMENTS: LAWS & ETHICS".


Year 2021
  • Gupta S, Misra M, Gill NS. Mental Health Review Board under the Mental Healthcare Act (India), 2017: A Critique and Learnings from Review Boards of Other Nations. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 81 (2022) 101774. 

  • Ghosh S, Gupta S, Singh V. Mental health care act: from Paper to Clinical Practice in the Mental Health Settings, Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine | Volume XX | Issue X | XXXX-XXXX 2021 (ahead of print)

  • Gill N. Lovers of Philosophy. Book Review. Australasian Psychiatry. Published online 18 March 2022. DOI: 10.1177/10398562221077886. 


Year 2021

  • Bloch, S., & Green A., S. (2021). Psychiatric Ethics. In Psychiatric Ethics (Vol. 1–Fifth). Oxford University Press.

  • Gill NS, Parker S, Amos A et al. Opening the doors: Critically examining the locked wards policy for public mental health inpatient units in Queensland Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2021. 2021. Vol. 55(9) 844 - 848 

  • Pai N, Gupta R, Lakra V, Vella S, Kalra H, Yadav T, Chaturvedi S, Gill NS. Indian Psychiatrists in the Australian Workforce – from brain drain to brain exchange. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. Published online. 9 Sept 2021. DOI: 10.1177/00048674211044099


Year 2020

  • Harding, K. (2020). Words matter: The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ position statement on personality disorder. The Lancet Psychiatry, 7(5), e25.

  • Gill NS, Amos A, Muhsen H, Hatton J, Ekanayake C, Kisely S. Measuring the impact of mental health legislation on human rights in Queensland, Australia. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. Nov – Dec. 2020. Vol 73, 101634. p 1-9. 

  • Gill NS, Turner K. How the statutory health attorney provision in Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld) is incompatible with human rights. Australasian Psychiatry. 2021, Vol 29(1) 72-74 

  • Gill NS, Allan J, Clarke B, Rosen A. Human rights implications of introducing a new mental health act - principles, challenges and opportunities. Australasian Psychiatry. 2020, 28 (2) 167-17


Year 2019

  • Gill NS. Human rights framework – an ethical imperative for psychiatry. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2019, Vol 53 (I) 8-10


Year 2018

  • Bloch, S., Kenn, F., & Smith, G. (2018). Revising the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists code of ethics. Australasian Psychiatry: Bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, 26(5), 456–459.


Year 2011

  • Kallivayalil, R. A., & Chadda, R. (2011). Culture, Ethics and Medicine in South Asia. The International Journal of Person Centered Medicine, 1(1), 56–61.


Year 2009

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