Mental health tribunals: Rights drowning in un-'chartered' health waters?

This article assesses features of mental heath legislation relating to compulsory treatment and mental health tribunal processes against domestic 'Charters' of rights recently enacted in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. It is argued that genuinely interdisciplinary, multi-member mental health tribunals are vital to the quality of decision-making, and mental health tribunals should be funded to enable them to spend adequate time assessing the merits of each case in line with civil rights standards for prompt and fair hearings, especially where individual liberty is at stake. Because overseas research demonstrates that mental health is a very special jurisdiction, the article summarises those findings before turning to the human rights implications.
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