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Mental Health Law Team
Mental Health and Protection of Rights Division
3ER St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Mental Health Law

Current Consultations

There are no current consultations.

Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015

The Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 4 August 2015 following passage through the Scottish Parliament. The Act makes changes to the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 to allow service users to with a mental disorder to access effective treatment quickly and easily. It also contains measures around named persons, advance statements and advocacy to enhance service users' rights and to promote service users’ involvement in their treatment. It introduces a Victim Notification Scheme for victims of mentally disordered offenders. It also makes some changes to the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 in relation to mental health disposals in criminal cases:

Implementation of the 2015 Act

Implementation of the Act will include secondary legislation, implementation of the Victim Notification Scheme for victims of mentally disordered offenders and revisions to guidance, forms and the Code of Practice. 

The majority of Parts 1 and 2 of the Act, along with associated regulations, are in force from 30 June 2017. 

Officials continue to work with stakeholders on the implementation of the Act, including through the Implementation Reference Group and the Code of Practice working group:

Enacted provisions and secondary legislation

New regulations related to appeals against levels of security are in force from 16 November 2015 and more information about these provisions can be found on the implementation and secondary legislation page. You can also find more information about secondary legislation in force from 30 June 2017, commencement of Parts 1 and 2 of the Act, and the public consultation on implementation that was held in 2016.

Guidance and information

Information about the key changes for different groups of practitioners is available on this website.

We have prepared interim informal guidance on many of the key changes from the 2015 Act. This guidance will be incorporated into the revised Code of Practice which will be laid in draft with Parliament over the summer. We have also prepared guidance about the transitional provisions for the 2015 Act. The transitional provisions set out how certain sections of the 2015 Act come into force (such as at what part of a process they begin to apply) and also set out how named persons appointed under section 251 of the 2003 Act (default named persons) will be phased out.