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Australia's mental health legislation


Kirkby, KC and Henderson, S, Australia's mental health legislation, International Psychiatry, 10, (2) pp. 38-40. ISSN 1749-3676 (2013) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]


Australia has a generally progressive approach to mental health law, reflective of international trends in human rights. Responsibility for most legislation is vested in the six States and two Territories, a total of eight jurisdictions, such that at any given time several new mental health acts are in preparation. In addition there is a model mental health act that promotes common standards. Transfer of orders between jurisdictions relies on Memoranda of Understanding between them, and is patchy. State and Territory legislation is generally cognisant of international treaty obligations, which are themselves the preserve of the Federal Parliament and legislature. UK legislation has had a key influence in Australia, the 1959 Mental Health Act in particular, with its strong emphasis on voluntary hospitalisation, prefacing deinstitutionalisation.

Item Details

Item Type:Contribution to Refereed Journal
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Kirkby, KC (Professor Kenneth Kirkby)
ID Code:87275
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2013-11-12
Last Modified:2013-11-12

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