Informing Northern Ireland’s approach to questions of capacity & mental health through PhD research
With a studentship from Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy, QUB Law alumnus James Carson will be continuing his legal studies with a PhD.
Speaking about the scholarship, James says:
"I'm grateful to have been awarded a Department for the Economy studentship to complete my PhD under the supervision of Dr Clayton Ó Néill and Professor Thérèse Murphy. When I started my undergraduate studies in Law with Politics at QUB, I could hardly believe that I would complete my degree, let alone successfully apply for a PhD at the University. During my time at Queen's, my confidence has grown exponentially, giving me the belief to ask challenging questions and endeavour to find answers to the issues facing Northern Ireland."
James’ PhD project is about mental health law, a rapidly evolving area within legal research. It will explore and analyse the development and the implementation of the Mental Capacity (Northern Ireland) Act 2016.
James explains his choice of PhD project as follows:
"I've closely followed this ground breaking piece of legislation as I've gone through my personal mental health journey as it offers the potential for persons lacking capacity to play a more significant role in any decisions made on their behalf. I'm eager to use this research to establish how the Northern Ireland Assembly can perform oversight over this significant piece of legislation to ensure it fulfils its intended purpose."
Dr Clayton Ó Néill, James’ primary supervisor, says the project is very topical and interesting:
"This is a fantastic opportunity for James to scrutinise this key legislation which will have an impact on many people in Northern Ireland. There is great potential for James' research to inform the debate pertaining to capacity and mental health. There is significant scope here to examine in a cutting-edge way how the Act has potential to work to empower patients."
James is looking forward to the start of his PhD: ‘It is an absolute privilege to have the opportunity to work with the fantastic team within the School of Law at QUB to establish how Northern Ireland is confronting contemporary issues in this field.'