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Where to refer specialist mental health/disability matters

This information is to help Legal Help staff to refer the following specialist matters:

Essentially staff need to make a distinction as follows:

Crimes Mental Impairment Act matters

These matters should be referred to the Mental Health and Disability sub-program, Civil Justice. That is, if the caller is found not guilty of a criminal offence due to mental impairment, the County Court or Supreme Court can place them on an indefinite supervision order under the Act.

See Practice resources—Civil law resources—Crimes Mental Impairment supervision orders(opens in a new window)

Disability Act matters

If the caller has an intellectual disability and there is an application by the Department Health and Human Services to VCAT to make a supervised treatment order they need to be referred to the Mental Health and Disability sub-program, Civil Justice.

See Practice resources—Civil law resources—Mental health and disability(opens in a new window)

Severe substance dependence

If the matter relates to a severe substance dependence, the person should be referred to the Mental Health and Disability sub-program, Civil Justice. That is, if the caller has a serious drug addiction and is subject to an order in the Magistrates Court for detention and involuntary treatment.

See Practice resources—Civil law resources—Mental health and disability(opens in a new window)

Serious sex offenders

If the matter relates to a matter under the Serious Offenders Act 2018, the caller needs to be referred to the Indictable team, Criminal law. That is if the caller has been convicted of a serious sex or violence offence and is subject to an application by the Department of Justice and Community Safety for an extended supervision order or the renewal of such an order in the County Court.

Note: Some regional offices, particularly country regional offices such as Horsham also do this work because they service Ararat Prison where they see a high number of clients who are convicted sex offenders.

See Practice resources—Civil law resources—Serious sex offenders detention and supervision(opens in a new window)

More information

Legislation

Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 (Vic)

See Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 (Vic)(opens in a new window)

Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010 (Vic)

See Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010 (Vic)(opens in a new window)

Disability Act 2006 (Vic)

See Disability Act 2006 (Vic)(opens in a new window)

Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)

  • Schedule 1—Serious sex offences

See Serious Offenders Act 2018(Vic)(opens in a new window)

Updated