10(1). Article 10(1) can have no relevance to care in the community as it only applies to detainees. A violation of Article 7 in Kalenga was specifically not found.156 As noted, the ECHR equivalent to Article 7, Article 3, incorporates a right to appropriate medical treatment for detainees.157 Nevertheless, it seems hard to find a positive duty under Article 7 to provide adequate care to mentally disturbed persons living outside state custody, even if those persons have been deliberately released from state care. It is possible that there might be an argument under Article 6 of the ICCPR. It is arguable that leaving people with serious mental illness without adequate support such that they threatened their own lives (for example, Ben Silcock), or the lives of others (for example, Christopher Clunis), might contravene the obligations in Article 6 to prevent homicides158 and to take positive measures to safeguard life.159 The positive obligations under Article 6 are discussed in Chapter 5.
The Mental Health Act 1983 overall appears to ensure a system of compulsory hospitalization which complies with the Covenant. This is contrary to the conclusion reached by MIND,160 but may be explained by the assertion in this chapter that the problems which MIND highlights do not, in general, suggest a problem with the system. However, some areas of non-compliance with the Covenant have been suggested, such as the potential inadequacy of remedies for challenging improper detention, especially initial detention, in a mental health institution. Some areas where the current arrangements for the provision of care for the mentally disordered are, unfortunately, not easily brought within the scope of the Covenant. In particular, the world-wide move towards care in the community is likely to mean that the Covenant has less significance for the care and treatment of people with mental illness and people with learning disabilities than it should have.____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and United Kingdom Law. Contributors: David Harris - Editor, Sarah Joseph - Editor. Publisher: Clarendon Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 268.
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