Advocacy in the mental health law jurisdiction

Advocacy in the mental health law jurisdiction

Assisting a client who has a hearing before the Mental Health Tribunal requires an understanding of more than just the relevant legal criteria, the principles that apply and the process involved.

Many people's experiences of compulsory treatment is stigmatising and disempowering. Understanding your client’s situation – their experiences of mental health services and compulsory treatment, what is important to them and what they hope to achieve – and critically evaluating the available evidence, can enable you to advocate most effectively.

It will assist you to advise your client about their rights and options, negotiate with the treating team and others and advocate effectively on their behalf at the tribunal.

Acting on your client’s instructions

Lawyers are obligated to act on their client’s instructions. This means not assuming instructions, not acting in what is perceived to be their best interests and not acting on the instructions of family members or other supporters.

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