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Representation at the Mental Health Review Tribunal

Assessment criteria

For legal aid to be granted for a patient to be represented at the Mental Health Review Tribunal the following tests must be satisfied:

Documentary requirements

Application received from client

Applicants seeking a grant of legal assistance should forward all of the following documents for assessment:

  • A completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form.
  • Proof of income and assets (refer to the means test).
  • Copies of any relevant documentation from the Mental Health Review Tribunal if applicable (ie a copy of the clinical report from your doctor or a copy of your patient information report).
  • Details of why the applicant is appearing before the Mental Health Review Tribunal.

Application received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioner

Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically submit an application for aid via the Grants Online system along with:

  • Details of the purpose for which the applicant is appearing before the Mental Health Review Tribunal, and
  • Details of inquiries made with the patient’s treating doctor and any relatives, and
  • Provide their opinion as to the applicant’s likely prospects of success.

The practitioner must also ensure that the following documents are retained on file:

  • A completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form.
  • Proof of income and assets (refer to the means test).
  • Copies of any relevant documentation from the Mental Health Review Tribunal if applicable (ie a copy of the clinical report or patient information report).

Interpretation

Merits test

The merits test applies for matters in the Mental Health Review Tribunal for:

  • Statutory reviews, and
  • Applications by patients.

The merits test does not apply in relation to applications for requests by the presiding member of the tribunal pursuant to sections 450, 451, 452 or 453 of the Mental Health Act 2000.

When considering applications made by patients, Legal Aid Queensland will consider:

  • What the current conditions are, and
  • What the patient is seeking to change.
  • Where a patient is seeking to make significant changes to their conditions (ie more extensive leave conditions or make an application to discharge), Legal Aid Queensland is likely to consider that the applicant meets the prudent self-funding litigant test and the appropriateness of spending limited public funds test.

Allocation of a solicitor

Representation in the Mental Health Review Tribunal will be provided on an in-house basis by the Mental Health Section of Legal Aid Queensland unless there is a conflict of interest.

Grant(s) of aid

The grant of aid to represent a client before the Mental Health Review Tribunal is a MHR.

Extension(s) of aid

The grant of aid for counsel to appear before the Mental Health Review Tribunal is a MHRC.

Review of decisions

A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).

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