eCite Digital Repository

The challenge for Australian jurisdictions to guarantee free qualified representation before mental health tribunals and boards of review: Learning from the Tasmanian experience

Citation

Williams, V, The challenge for Australian jurisdictions to guarantee free qualified representation before mental health tribunals and boards of review: Learning from the Tasmanian experience, Psychiatry Psychology and Law, 16, (1) pp. 108-122. ISSN 1321-8719 (2009) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 Taylor and Franics

DOI: doi:10.1080/13218710802471149

Abstract

A mentally ill citizen whose case is listed for hearing before a Mental Health Tribunal or Board of Review has a statutory right to be represented, although in nearly all Australian jurisdictions relatively few individuals are represented. An examination of the annual reports of mental health legal services demonstrates a consensus view that the low number of represented people is due to the lack of sufficient government funding and consequentially the too limited resources of the services. This article reviews the legislation and explores concepts such as the "more well" person and "qualified representation" behind the existing representational system that does not meet Australia's human rights obligations. It questions the continued reliance on the traditional, once clear distinction between that which is legal representation and that which is lay representation in light of the Mental Health Tribunal Representation Scheme which has been operating in Tasmania since 2003. It suggests that this type of representation scheme is a cost-effective alternative that will guarantee every Australian appearing before a mental health board or tribunal the ability to exercise their right to free, competent representation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:human rights, involuntary status, legal representation, mental illness
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law
Research Field:Law not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the Law
Objective Field:Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified
Author:Williams, V (Dr Valerie Williams)
ID Code:61289
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2010-03-02
Last Modified:2015-02-12
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page