Model Law Commission 2018 - Reforming the Mental Health Act 1983 - Keele School of Law and Newcastle-under-Lyme College

Model Law Commission 2018

Reforming the Mental Health Act 1983

Keele School of Law and Newcastle-under-Lyme College


At Keele Law School, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to connect with the next generation of students and help with those important decisions that come with studying for awards such as GCSEs, A-Levels, and BTECs.  One thing we believe very strongly is that when making that all important and very personal decision about our pathways through life – to go to university or not – it is most helpful for students to be able to experience university first hand to really be able to understand: is it for me or not?   

Outreach projects like the Model Law Commission allow us to support students in making this important decision and whether it helps an individual know whether university is for them or not, or what type of university they prefer – city or campus – it is a valuable opportunity to get hands on experience of what Higher Education is like.  Long-term projects like the Commission also allow us to help students develop transferable skills, developing their ability to argue, research and communicate both verbally and in writing. 

But most of all, these projects give people like me a chance to meet all of those brilliant individuals who make up the next generation of society, and whether their path leads to university or not, it is honestly a pleasure and a privilege to be able to spend time with them and share my enthusiasm for teaching and law. 

Michael Fay 

Keele, May 2018. 

The Model Law Commission has been fortunate to benefit from the support of two institutions and it goes without saying that thanks are due to both Keele Law School and Newcastle-under-Lyme College

Keele Law School: The Law School prides itself on its distinctive and outwardlooking law degrees. Their courses cover a full spectrum of needs and interests, from the undergraduate to postgraduate levels, and beyond. Truly, law at Keele offers something for everyone.  Throughout their history, the School has produced research delivering world-leading impact and graduates who contribute significantly to their fields, from senior figures within the legal profession, to human rights activists, actors, entrepreneurs and professionals in health and social care. 

For more details see School of Law web pages.

Newcastle-under-Lyme College: Part of Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG), NULC are Staffordshire's leading General Further Education College, with pass rates and student achievement rates amongst the best in the country.  They provide a wide range of academic, vocational and apprenticeship qualifications from entry to degree level, along with the support services to help students achieve their goals.  The College has grown significantly over the past 10 years and is currently home to over 3,800 full-time students and around 450 students on higher education programmes.  They have over 2,600 part-time or adult learners, and 1,500 apprentices where work with around 850 individual employers. 

For more information on NULC, please visit their website. 

The Model Law Commission is a three-month long project which allows students to get involved in a mock law reform project.  Students simulate the work of the actual Law Commission and spend time learning about areas of law from experts in the field, as well as having the opportunity to hear from policy makers who are involved in the day-to-day review of the law. 

This year the focus of the Model Law Commission was on the Mental Health Act 1983, which is currently being reviewed by the Department of Health and Social Care, so the students work directly mirrors work currently going on in government. 

The Mental Health Act 1983 is a piece of legislation that governs the treatment of people with mental health conditions and contains a great deal of powerful clauses that allow, for example, detention and treatment of people with mental health conditions without consent.  The Act is a very large piece of legislation and so the students focused exclusively on the definition of mental health conditions and the powers to detain people with mental health conditions for assessment and treatment. 

The students spent time learning about the law, debating reforms and building a consultation questionnaire which could be used to further research their proposals and gauge the public’s view.  The results of the students’ research and study is contained in this report; it is entirely in their own words. 

Our Student Commissioners were all A-Level students from Newcastle-under-Lyme College, all of whom were in their first year of study and taking an A-Level in Law.

A project like the Model Law Commission cannot get by without a lot of help and enthusiasm from a considerable number of people, and we are extremely grateful to the following people for all they have done to make this project a reality:

The views expressed in this report are solely the views of the student authors and do not represent the view of any organisation or person identified herein, including guest speakers.


A copy of the report is not available online at this time, if you wish to receive a copy please contact Michael Fay.