Dalhousie Law Journal


mental health, law, justice system, state-subject reciprocity, health


What is the significance of the rule of law to the area of professional knowledge and practice that is "mental health"-or to the interaction of those two aspirational, one might say euphemistically-named social systems: the mental health and justice systems? This question centres upon the rule of law-specifically, I suggest (as I relate further in closing), a thick conception of the rule of law grounded in an ideal of state-subject reciprocity-and not, or not directly, upon the individual and social good ofhealth. It is this overarching question that I wish to pursue in setting the stage for the two lectures that follow, in which prominent members of the Canadian judiciary address topics at the intersection of mental health and the law.