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Website reviews

1 February 02

Review of one mental health site and three for asylum and immigration

by O’Carroll, Derek

site of the month:<>

This site is in many ways one of the best sites on single issues that I have ever seen. The subject matter is mental health law and related matters such as incapacity. The design of the site is no nonsense plain vanilla. The limited advertising is kept out of site: pleasing for the viewer; not so good for revenues I suppose. The designer and author of the site has set out to provide on one site, all that you could ever hope to get on the net about mental health law. The contents page contains about 50 entries including legislation, government circulars, guides to the (English) legislation and a British news summary. Where the site stands out is in the provision of the caselaw. Under headings such as Mental Health review tribunals, Human rights and simply, Cases in Court, the author introduces the case (sometimes rather idiosyncratically) and then provides a copy of the full judgment with a quick click. The Cases in Court go back five years. While the cases are not all indexed as well as one would like, there is no other better source on the net for this sort of thing. The authors have not forgotten Scotland, unusual on the web. In the Scotland section, there are links to the full text of lots of Scottish cases in this area. In addition, there are links to loads of specifically Scottish resources such as official documents, reports, news items, Scottish executive policy papers and so on. Although they are all a bit jumbled, you should be able to find what you want easily enough. If what you are looking for is on the web and has some sort of connection with mental health, you are likely to find it here. Best of all, it’s kept bang up to date. Pretty the site aint. Inspiring, it is.

Subjective Rating (where 5 is excellent and 1 is poor and no rating indicate that that category has not been assessed)

Speed 4/5

Usefulness to practitioners  4/5

Usefulness to non-practitioners  3/5

Site design 2/5

Ease of use 3/5

Updating frequency 5/5

Three for the price of one; or there will be once the designer, Frank Corrigan of Frankbydesign has pulled them all together within the site. That is expected to happen at the end of March 2002. That site stylishly sports one of the new domain suffixes and does just what it says on the packet. It provides information about the government’s National Asylum Support Scheme (NASS) to which all asylum seekers have to submit, at least until their claim has been decided. Intriguingly, the designers of this well designed site, have trademarked the phrase “The resource for asylum support information”: so maybe it will make money sometime. For the moment, it is free. The site provides various resources on NASS including a few cases, links to the relevant legislation and to official documents. In addition, there is an extensive library of books, magazines and leaflets published by a variety of organisations (such as Amnesty International) with the text available in pdf or text form. An up to date news section keeps the browser up to date with current developments in the UK and abroad and those items are helpfully indexed by subject matter. also contains a detailed news section, which appears largely to duplicate the site. The site contains a wealth of information and resources on immigration generally including a long list of legal links. Unfortunately, the links are not specific to immigration and asylum issues. The publishers of this site are wise to combine the three. The next step would surely be to beef up the legal side given the dearth of good quality sites of that type in this area. One to watch.

Speed 4/5

Usefulness to practitioners  3/5

Usefulness to non-practitioners  3/5

Site design 4/5

Ease of use 4/5

Updating frequency 4/5