Victoria Legal Aid

Mental health law

This section aims to keep mental health lawyers and advocates informed of developments relating to the new Mental Health Act 2014.

This section aims to keep mental health lawyers and advocates informed of developments relating to the Mental Health Act 2014External Link (Vic).

We also have information to help people with a mental illness understand the Act. See Mental health and your rights.

Introduction to the Mental Health Act

This section will introduce you to the key elements of the Mental Health Act and how the Act may affect your clients living with mental illness.

Read more about the Mental Health Act.

Assessment and treatment orders

For a person to be subjected to compulsory treatment for mental illness, whether in the community or as an inpatient in a public hospital, certain processes must be followed and criteria met.

Read more about assessment and treatment orders.

Rights of people receiving treatment for mental illness

The Mental Health Act sets out particular rights and treatment principles for people who are being assessed for compulsory treatment and who may be placed on compulsory treatment orders. These have major implications for advocates working with people subject to compulsory treatment.

Read more about how you can help support patient rights.

Stay up to date

Community legal centre staff and panel practitioners can sign up to LawHubExternal Link to be notified of about new legal resources, case studies, practice tips, best practice insights, reports, news and events.

You can also follow us on TwitterExternal Link or sign up to our fortnightly newsletter Legal Aid Brief.

Mental health law practice guide

We have developed a practice guide to assist lawyers undertaking this important work.

About us

Victoria Legal Aid has a specialist mental health law practice that is committed to ensuring that people with mental health issues are afforded fair and humane treatment under the law.

Our lawyers provide mental health services across the state and appear at hundreds of Mental Health Tribunal hearings a year. However, not all sitting days of the Tribunal are covered by our service.

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at

Reviewed 30 March 2022

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