The Mental Health Review Tribunal has issued a Practice Direction (PD 1 of 2019) in relation to legal representatives’ appearances before the Tribunal.
“Legal representative” is intended to include legal representatives for the patient, as well as other representatives including the Attorney-General, Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, Director of Forensic Disability or Office of the Public Advocate.
The Practice Direction requires that legal representatives appear at Tribunal hearings in personat either the hearing venue, or at the location of the Tribunal member (for example, the Tribunal office) unless prior approval of the President or Deputy President has been granted.
The Practice Direction will apply to hearings commencing from 8 July 2019.
If you need to appear other than in person from this date, a request must be made in writing to the Tribunal President of Deputy President at least 5 working days prior to the hearing by completing the attached request form. The form is also available on the Tribunal’s website at http://www.mhrt.qld.gov.au/resources/public-forms
Please ensure that you comply with the procedure outlined in the attached “Procedure – Request to attend hearing by remote conferencing” document when making your application to the Tribunal.
It should be noted that as the President is required by the Mental Health Act 2016 to ensure the quick and efficient discharge of Tribunal business, there will be occasions where charges are made at the Tribunal’s convenience. For example, if videoconference facilities do not work on the day of the hearing, a legal representative, despite having an approval for attendance by videoconference, may be required to attend via telephone. Similarly, if a legal representative is unwell and unavailable on the day of the hearing, another legal representative from the same firm may be substituted and attend via remote conference with verbal approval only.
Please contact the Mental Health Review Tribunal on (07) 3235 9059 if you have any questions regarding this Practice Direction.