The Mental Health Act 2000 sets out the duties of the Tribunal and the decisions it can make.
What does the Tribunal do?
Some of the Tribunal’s duties include:
- Reviewing Involuntary Treatment Orders (ITO) and Forensic Orders (FO)
- Reviewing young persons with mental illness who are detained in high security for treatment.
- Hearing applications for involuntary patients to move out of Queensland
- Hearing applications to appeal against a decision made at the mental health service not to allow a person to visit a patient.
- Reviewing psychiatric applications to give ECT to a person unable to consent to treatment.
What decisions does the Tribunal make?
The Tribunal can:
- Confirm (continue) or revoke (cease) an ITO or FO
- If you are on an ITO, allow you to leave the hospital for short periods (approve limited community treatment) or order you to return to hospital (change your treatment order category)
- If you are on a FO, approve the extent to which you may be absent from the hospital (approve or order limited community treatment including anything from short escorted absences to full community treatment)
- Approve or refuse a psychiatrist’s application to give ECT
- Order your transfer from one authorised mental health service to another
- If you are on a FO because you are not fit for trial, find you fit for trial or permanently unfit for trial
What else does the Tribunal do?
- If you are on a FO, the Tribunal may order certain information about your case be given to another person (eg the victim of the offence leading to the FO) by making a Forensic Patient Information Order
- If your FO is revoked, the Tribunal may order that you have no contact with the victim (or a relative or associate of the victim) for two years (the Tribunal makes a Non-Contact Order)
How often will my case be reviewed?
- If you are on an ITO, reviews are within 6 weeks of the order being made and then at least once every 6 months
- If you are on a FO, reviews are within 6 months of the order having been made and then at least once every 6 months
- If you have been found unfit for trial (but not permanently unfit) the Tribunal must review your fitness for trial every 3 months for the first year. Then if you continue to be not fit for trial reviews will happen every 6 months. 6-monthly reviews will continue until you become fit for trial or the charges against you are discontinued. FO and fitness for trial reviews may occur together
- If you are under 17 years old and are detained in a high security unit the Tribunal will review your case within 7 days of admission, and then at least every three months.
- You (or someone on your behalf) may apply to the Tribunal to have your case reviewed. There is no limit to the number of times a person may apply. The application form is available when you download “A Brief Guide” to the Tribunal. You can also obtain the application form from your mental health service, or by contacting the Tribunal office.