The New Chinese Mental Health Laws


The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is by far the most important international agreement yet developed concerning the mentally disabled. China adopted this Convention in 2008. In 2012 China went further—making major changes in the way that China deals with mental health issues in both its criminal and its civil law. Coming first was a new Criminal Procedure Code that adds a whole new dimension to the way that China deals with the mentally ill who are charged with crimes. Equally important was the new civil mental disabilities law that China adopted later in the year. Many years in the making, this new law is China’s first comprehensive modern civil mental disabilities law. This article discusses both the major features of these new laws and some of the more important tasks that remain for the future.


China, Mental Health, Health Law, Mental Health Laws



Zhiyuan Guo (China University of Political Science and Law)
Floyd Feeney (University of California, Davis)



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