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Professor John Dawson

staff_large_dawson_johnMy particular interests are in mental health law, the law governing health information, public law and socio-legal research.

I was educated in New Zealand and North America, at Otago and Harvard universities, and have taught as a visitor at McGill in Montreal and at the University of Toronto. The main focus of my research is the law governing involuntary psychiatric treatment and legal relations between mental health professionals and their clients. I study these matters in the law books and in fieldwork conducted within the mental health services. Often this involves collaboration with health professionals and social scientists. I have also had a long involvement with law reform. In my secondary field of research, public law, my focus has been on relations between the NZ state and Maori, and on Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

My main research project currently is known as the Otago Community Treatment Order Study. This is a study of the use of involuntary outpatient psychiatric treatment. This has been funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the New Zealand Law Foundation.

I am also involved in the teaching and supervision of students enrolled in our specialist post-graduate degree: the Masters of Bioethics and Health Law.

Research Interests

Mental Health Law, Law Governing Research, Treaty of Waitangi Settlements

Contact

Tel: +64 3 479 8909
Office: 7th Floor - 7C21
Email: john.dawson@otago.ac.nz

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Publications

Dawson, J., & Gledhill, K. (Eds.). (2013). New Zealand's Mental Health Act in practice. Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University Press, 416p.

Burns, T., Rugkåsa, J., Molodynski, A., Dawson, J., Yeeles, K., Vazquez-Montes, M., … Priebe, S. (2013). Community treatment orders for patients with psychosis (OCTET): A randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 381, 1627-1633. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60107-5

Rugkåsa, J., Dawson, J., & Burns, T. (2014). CTOs: What is the state of the evidence? Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 49(12), 1861-1871. doi: 10.1007/s00127-014-0839-7

Dawson, J. (2010). Community treatment orders. In L. Gostin, P. Bartlett, P. Fennell, J. McHale & R. Mackay (Eds.), Principles of mental health law and policy. (pp. 513-554). Oxford University Press.

Dawson, J. (2015). A realistic approach to assessing mental health laws' compliance with the UNCRPD. International Journal of Law & Psychiatry, 40, 70-79. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2015.04.003

Edited Book - Research

Dawson, J., & Gledhill, K. (Eds.). (2013). New Zealand's Mental Health Act in practice. Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University Press, 416p.

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Chapter in Book - Research

Dawson, J. (2013). The complex meaning of 'mental disorder'. In J. Dawson & K. Gledhill (Eds.), New Zealand's Mental Health Act in practice. (pp. 29-45). Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University Press.

Dawson, J., Ellis, P., Glue, P., Goldsmith, D., Lenagh-Glue, J., & Smith, D. A. R. (2013). Mandatory second opinions on compulsory treatment. In J. Dawson & K. Gledhill (Eds.), New Zealand's Mental Health Act in practice. (pp. 229-246). Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University Press.

Szmukler, G., & Dawson, J. (2011). Reducing discrimination in mental health law – the 'fusion' of incapacity and mental health legislation. In T. W. Kallert, J. E. Mezzich & J. Monahan (Eds.), Coercive treatment in psychiatry: Clinical, legal and ethical aspects. (pp. 97-119). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Dawson, J. (2010). Community treatment orders. In L. Gostin, P. Bartlett, P. Fennell, J. McHale & R. Mackay (Eds.), Principles of mental health law and policy. (pp. 513-554). Oxford University Press.

Dawson, J. (2010). Compulsory outpatient treatment and the calculus of human rights. In B. McSherry & P. Walker (Eds.), Rethinking rights-based mental health laws. (pp. 327-354). Oxford, UK: Hart.

Dawson, J., & Szmukler, G. (2009). Why distinguish ″mental″ and ″physical″ illness in the law of involuntary treatment? In M. Freeman & O. R. Goodenough (Eds.), Law, mind and brain. (pp. 173-182). Farnham, UK: Ashgate.

Dawson, J. (2007). Forensic psychiatry and public law. In W. Brookbanks (Ed.), Psychiatry and the Law. (pp. 101-122). Wellington, New Zealand: LexisNexis.

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Journal - Research Article

Dawson, J. (2015). A realistic approach to assessing mental health laws' compliance with the UNCRPD. International Journal of Law & Psychiatry, 40, 70-79. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2015.04.003

Dawson, J., Glue, P., Ellis, P. M., Lenagh-Glue, J., Goldsmith, D., & Smith, D. A. R. (2015). Lessons from export to New Zealand of the second opinion appointed doctor scheme. BJPsych Bulletin, 39(2), 69-73. doi: 10.1192/pb.bp.113.046540

Zhao, X., & Dawson, J. (2014). The new Chinese Mental Health Law. Psychiatry, Psychology & Law, 21(5), 669-686. doi: 10.1080/13218719.2014.882248

Rugkåsa, J., Dawson, J., & Burns, T. (2014). CTOs: What is the state of the evidence? Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 49(12), 1861-1871. doi: 10.1007/s00127-014-0839-7

Burns, T., Rugkåsa, J., Molodynski, A., Dawson, J., Yeeles, K., Vazquez-Montes, M., … Priebe, S. (2013). Community treatment orders for patients with psychosis (OCTET): A randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 381, 1627-1633. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60107-5

Rugkåsa, J., & Dawson, J. (2013). Community treatment orders: Current evidence and the implications. British Journal of Psychiatry, 203, 406-408. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.133900

Skipworth, J. J., Dawson, J., & Ellis, P. M. (2013). Capacity of forensic patients to consent to treatment. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 47(5), 443-450. doi: 10.1177/0004867412468495

Dawson, J. (2012). Medical privilege and court-ordered psychiatric reports. New Zealand Universities Law Review, 25(2), 239-269.

Dawson, J., & Suszko, A. (2012). Courts and representation disputes in the Treaty settlement process. New Zealand Law Review, 1, 35-74.

O'Reilly, R., Dawson, J., & Burns, T. (2012). Best practices in the use of involuntary outpatient treatment. Psychiatric Services, 63(5), 421-423. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.20120p421

McKillop, M., Dawson, J., & Szmukler, G. (2011). The concept of objection under the DOLS regime. Journal of Mental Health Law, 21, 61-73.

Dawson, J., Burns, T., & Rugkåsa, J. (2011). Lawfulness of a randomised trial of the new Community Treatment Order regime for England and Wales. Medical Law Review, 19(1), 1-26. doi: 10.1093/medlaw/fwq030

Manning, C., Molodynski, A., Rugkåsa, J., Dawson, J., & Burns, T. (2011). Community treatment orders in England and Wales: National survey of clinicians' views and use. Psychiatrist, 35(9), 328-333. doi: 10.1192/pb.bp.110.032631

Szmukler, G., Daw, R., & Dawson, J. (2010). The proposal: A model law fusing incapacity and mental health legislation. Journal of Mental Health Law, 20(Special issue), 11-24.

Szmukler, G., Daw, R., & Dawson, J. (2010). The model law: Outline of the model law and addendum. Journal of Mental Health Law, 20(Special issue), 101-126.

Dawson, J. (2009). Concepts of liberty in mental health law. Otago Law Review, 12(1), 23-36.

Dawson, J., & Mullen, R. (2008). Insight and use of community treatment orders. Journal of Mental Health, 17(3), 269-280. doi: 10.1080/09638230802052187

Dawson, J., & Szmukler, G. (2006). Fusion of mental health and incapacity legislation. British Journal of Psychiatry, 188, 504-509. doi: 10.1192/bjp.188.6.504

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Journal - Research Other

Burns, T., & Dawson, J. (2009). Community treatment orders: How ethical without experimental evidence? [Editorial]. Psychological Medicine, 39(10), 1583-1586. doi: 10.1017/s0033291709005352

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