Legal protection in mental coercive care in the home situation: the first-line professionals attitude

To ensure the safety of citizens, compulsory prevention measures are increasingly being taken by the state to minimise risks. With this change in the local approach to potential risk, it requires that, in addition to good care provision, the legal competences of frontline professionals are safeguarded in good care. Annemarie van de Weert will do her PhD research on this topic, at the intersection of healthcare, security and law.


Intervening in an individual's life affects a person's autonomy (an important part of democratic constitutions). This study looks from a safety perspective at how frontline professionals implement the realization of legal protection when coercive measures are used in the private space.


  • Socio-legal dilemmas in the context of forced measures, such as coercive care, are mapped out. 
  • Legal competences of the first-line professional with regard to the realization of legal protection are explained.  
  • Action perspective is offered to the first-line professional for better client support in coercive care processes.

"Social and legal professionals play a crucial role at the local level in the realisation of human rights. My PhD research focuses on how they deal with this in practice."

Annemarie van der Weert


By means of the new Mandatory Mental Health Act (Wvggz), it is possible to provide forced care in the home situation. Such as: administering fluids, food and medication, performing medical checks or actions. Also, a person can be limited in his freedom of movement. There is no need for anything serious to happen, the risk of this is sufficient. For responsible, forced care, the Health and Youth Inspectorate (IGJ) has stated that attention must be paid to the interests and legal position of individuals. Intervention with coercive measures to prevent serious harm has far-reaching consequences for the person in question, as well as the legal consequences to be overcome. This requires the necessary competencies of first-line professionals for the initial realization of legal protection. 


01 September 2021 - 01 September 2025


Further integration of the resulting knowledge regarding legal protection in the application of coercive measures fits within the existing HU- profile 'Safe Living Environment'. A new minor will also be developed that focuses on Integral Working on the themes Care, Law and Safety. The results of this research are also included in the further development of the ggz-triage training module within the Master's degree in Innovation in Care and Welfare.

HU researchers involved in the research

Related research groups

Collaboration with knowledge partners

Promotor: Bert Niemeijer (VU University Amsterdam)

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Annemarie van de Weert | Researcher | Access to Justice

Annemarie van de Weert

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Access to Justice