Saturday, October 1, 2011

International Diploma on Mental Health Law and Human Rights

ILS Law College, University of Pune, India, in partnership with the World Health Organization launched the first ever one-year International Diploma in Mental Health Law & Human Rights in 2008. Based on materials and tools developed by WHO, the diploma provides the law students with essential knowledge and skills for a career in the area of mental health, human rights and legislation. The fourth class is currently underway at ILS.

This unique Diploma is designed to appeal to a wide range of people interested in mental health including health workers, legal professionals, policy makers, and service users and family members.

The main objectives of the Diploma are: to equip students with the knowledge and understanding of international human rights standards for people with mental disorders; to apply these standards to mental health legislation; to understand the role of legislation in promoting and protecting the rights of persons with mental disorders; to understand how mental health policy and services can work to improve the human rights of people with mental disorders; and to equip the students with a broad contextual knowledge of the law and apply the same in the process of drafting, amending and implementing mental health legislation.

It is expected that the Diploma will equip the students to undertake advocacy work in this area and equip them with the knowledge and skills to actively support countries to drafting and amending mental health laws in line with international human rights standards such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The course begins with a 2 week onsite session at the ILS Law College at the University of Pune, India, with another one week at the end of the course for exams and project presentations. In between students are required to complete online lectures, study exercises, essays or other homework assignments. In addition, students will complete 1 extended essay (4000-5000 words each) and a research project (15000 words). The cost is 5500 Euros and scholarships are available. Please visit for more information. For more information on the host institution, ILS Law College, please visit

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