Involuntary treatment orders

XX v WW and Middle South Area Health Service [2014] VSC 564 is a judgment today of the Supreme Court of Victoria, concerning the making of an involuntary treatment order.

The plaintiff failed in her claim seeking a declaration that the involuntary treatment order was (for various asserted reasons) unlawful, or in breach of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic).

An interesting aspect of the decision at [128] ff arose following the High Court decision Hunter and New England Local Health District v McKenna [2014] HCA 44. The plaintiff XX raised whether an irrelevant consideration was taken into account in the making of the treatment order, being the risk to the plaintiff’s children. However unlike the then New South Wales legislation, the Victorian legislation required the psychiatrist to have regard to the protection of members of the public, so the risk to the children was not irrelevant and the compulsory treatment order not unlawful.

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