FORCED ACCOMMODATION OF MENTALLY ILL DEFENDANT – constitutional and conventional standards in Croatian jurisprudence
The following article deals with issues of protection of constitutional and convention rights of mentally ill de-fendants who were in forced accommodation. In court proceedings experts in psychiatry usually determine mental state and ability of defendants to participate in court process. The Constitutional court of the Republic of Croatia in its decisions relating to forced accommodation of mentally ill defendants applies standards estab-lished by the European Court of Human Rights in the context of the assessment of the right to a fair trial. The content of the constitutional right to a fair trial prescribed by Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia is limited to procedural guarantees of fair trial, and the Constitutional court, considering the allegations of constitutional complaint from the standpoint of this constitutional right, examines the possible existence of procedural violations in proceedings before courts and, on that basis, the procedure was conducted in a way that a fair trial was provided to the mentally ill person as the applicant of the constitutional complaint. The consistent implementation of legislative solutions provided by the Law on protection of persons with mental disorders and the Law on the protection of patients’ rights in court decisions is the first line of defense of their right of mentally ill persons to a fair trial. This high democracy standard is necessary due to protection of that vulnerable population.