Designing mental health law in developing countries

This project is looking at the complexities of mental health reform in environments with limited economic and other resources, using Lesotho as a case study.

Two consultations were undertaken in Maseru as part of the project, the first in June 2008 and the second in August/September 2009. Both included extended discussions with stakeholders regarding the direction of a reformed mental health law, and also visits to locations where people with mental disorders are accommodated.

The researchers have produced a guidance document for those interested in mental health law reform in sub-Saharan Africa entitled: Reforming mental disability law in Africa: Practical tips and suggestions

In addition, the research has resulted in the development of a draft mental health bill for Lesotho, and several academic papers relating to mental health law reform. 

Project details



Peter Bartlett and Emilie Hunter, University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre

Funding programme

Law in Society

Grant amount and duration


March 2008 - March 2010