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Mental health legislation (civil) in Australia and China: A comparative perspective
journal contributionposted on 2016-07-08, 00:00 authored by Danuta MendelsonDanuta Mendelson, Nuannuan Lin
This comparative review of statutory provisions of Australian and Chinese law focuses on accessibility of mental health care, diagnosis, admission and treatment orders for involuntary patients in civil cases as well as discharge procedures. The introduction contextualises the object of the comparative study, including key rights and principles that are used as the basis for analysis. Such factors as different political and legal systems, history, culture, and infrastructure resources of China and Australia form the background for the legal examination. Not surprisingly, these five factors, rather than statutory texts per se, are found to be the most important drivers of each country’s approach to the law of mental health. Two cases, XX v WW  VSC 564 in Australia and Xu Lixin v Xu Canxing, Qingchun Psychiatric Rehabilitation Hospital of Shanghai , known as the Right to Liberty Case, in China illustrate practical differences in legal approach to involuntary treatment. The comparative analysis concludes by identifying the most problematic aspects of the legislation in each country.