Patient privacy is very important to the Mental Health Review Tribunal. The Tribunal strives to protect any personal information it receives at a hearing or that it holds as part of a record.
Patients are sometimes reluctant to attend a Tribunal hearing or to provide information to the Tribunal for fear that this information may be disclosed to other people. Section 779 of the Mental Health Act 2016 imposes a strict duty of confidentiality upon Tribunal members. Tribunal employees and other stakeholders may only use or disclose personal information to perform functions under the Act. Section 790 prohibits publication of reports of Tribunal proceedings that identifies people involved.
Tribunal hearings are not recorded electronically. Sometimes the Tribunal may use video or teleconferencing to hold a hearing when a patient is located in a remote area or when there isn’t enough time or resources to have an in-person hearing. No tapes or electronic records are kept when hearings are held by videoconference or teleconference.
Tribunal hearings are closed to the public. If a person wishes to observe a Tribunal hearing, they must obtain the permission of the President of the Tribunal. The Request to Observe application form can be found here.