About the Journal

Focus and Scope

The International Journal of Mental Health and Capacity Law is an international peer reviewed open access journal devoted to the intersection between law, mental health and mental capacity. It publishes scholarly work on the civil and criminal aspects of this intersection. This covers matters that have a long history of producing difficult legal dilemmas – such as the involuntary detention and treatment of people with psycho-social disorders, and the impact of mental impairment on criminal trial processes. The Journal also provides an outlet for research and commentary on matters that have come to the fore because of recent human-rights based developments, including the need to have positive regulation of the situation of people with compromised ability to make decisions in light of a psycho-social disorder.

The IJMHCL builds on the well-reputed Journal of Mental Health Law, with a revised name to reflect its wider focus. It also follows the desire of its predecessor to combine academic articles and commentary with material that is designed to be used by practitioners – lawyers, and medical or social work professionals – in these nuanced areas.

The editorial board, which is made up of academics and practitioners, welcomes submissions from authors that comply with the following guidelines:

  • academic articles of up to 12,000 words
  • shorter articles, practice points, case notes and reports of research of up to 5000 words
  • submissions should be made via this website
  • submissions must be original, properly reference any third party material and comply with any copyright limitations; any possible conflicts of interest must be identified
  • manuscripts should be formatted as anonymised Microsort Word documents, in 12pt type with numbered pages to aid reviewers in making comments. Images, figures and tables, where used, should be in the body of the text and appropriately numbered
  • manuscripts should comply either with the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/publications/oscola.php) or the APA Referencing Style Guide. If you use footnotes, we encourage short footnotes
  • if an article reflects original research involving human participants, a statement is required that relevant ethical requirements have been met, including an indication as to which body gave ethical approval for the research and the relevant reference number. 

All submissions will be peer-reviewed by a double blind peer review process before being accepted for publication; naturally, there will be a process whereby an article may be accepted subject to minor or more major amendments being made. We will endeavour to provide feedback as to why any rejected submission has been rejected.

Peer Review Process

The IJMHCL will maintain the standard of double blind peer reviewing, and an international panel of reviewers is being put in place.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

This journal does not charge APCs or submission charges.

Articles are licenced with a CC BY Attribution 4.0 International Licence. 

You are free to:

  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

Under the following terms:

  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Journal History

The International Journal of Mental Health and Capacity Law is the successor to the well-reputed Journal of Mental Health Law. Its new name reflects its wider focus, to provide an outlet for articles and case commentary for mental health law in the jurisdictions of the UK and elsewhere, but also to cover the increasingly important area of capacity law. The new online format will also allow the inclusion of material that has a higher academic content as well as the more practical material that was the hallmark of the JMHL.