Brooklyn Journal of International Law

First Page



Mental illness has long been misunderstood and severely stigmatized worldwide. For several hundred years, rather than offering prompt and proper treatment, most countries treated mental illness by isolating patients from society. Moreover, that ill treatment remains to this day, with over 90% of the developing world's population living with a mental illness completely untreated and legal systems the world over struggling with how best to treat mentally ill defendants fairly. This Note will scrutinize and compare the treatment of the mentally ill defendants in Western and African nations. It will then focus on the legal systems in Uganda and Ghana for evidence of a persistent stigma and poor treatment faced by the mentally ill in those countries. Finally, this Note will suggest a solution to this treatment based on international pressure and cooperative effort.