The Supreme Court of Victoria was called upon to exercise its parens patriae powers in most unusual circumstances, in the recent matter of Re Beth [2013] VSC 189.

Beth (not her real name) suffered from intellectual disabilities, had suffered abuse and exhibited self destructive behaviours and violence toward others. The decision required consideration of whether Beth’s best interests extended to her detention in a secure facility.

The Court decided that despite the radical nature of the orders, they were in the best interests of Beth.

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