Policy Belief-An Urgent Call for the Repeal of Section 4 of the 2019 Mental Health Act

This policy brief has been prepared by the Mental Health Users Network of Zambia (MHUNZA) and Disability Rights Watch (DRW) in consultation with lawyers from Zambia in academia and private practice, from Validity Foundation (an international non-governmental organisation that uses the law to secure equality, inclusion and justice for people with mental disabilities worldwide) and from the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (a regional non-governmental organisation working to support human rights and the rule of law).

• The brief analyses section 4 of the Mental Health Act 6 of 2019 and explains why the provision violates constitutionally-protected human rights, particularly the right of persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities to enjoy their legal capacity.

• The Brief explains why the right to legal capacity is important. It explains why section 4 of the Mental Health Act poses a critical and urgent threat to the wellbeing and rights of persons with disabilities and requires immediate repeal.

• Finally, the Brief explains what the consequences in law would be if section 4 was severed and repealed from the Mental Health Act during the interim period in which a rights-affirming alternative is considered. Click here download the full Policy Brief_June 2019