Guardianship

In May 2009, the Attorney-General asked the Commission to review the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (Vic) and report on whether changes were needed.

Laws about guardianship and administration affect people who have someone appointed to make decisions for them because their decision-making capacity is impaired. 

In January 2010, the Commission published an information paper that explained the operation of the laws in Victoria. In February 2011, the Commission published a consultation paper that described how Victoria's guardianship and administration laws currently operate, outlined problems with the current laws, discussed laws in other jurisdictions, and put forward options for reform. 

This reference required extensive community consultation to understand the day-to-day realities of community members affected by guardianship laws. The Commission published materials in a range of accessible formats to encourage broad community participation. The Commission also conducted significant community consultation in metropolitan and regional areas. 

Many individuals and community organisations attended consultations and made submissions to the review over two-and-a-half years. The Commission also established two expert advisory committees. 

The final report was tabled in Parliament on 18 April 2012. It included 440 recommendations to modernise, clarify and simplify guardianship laws to better meet the needs of Victoria's changing population.

The report, consultation paper and other documents can be downloaded from the links below.

Implementation

Powers of attorney in Victoria changed on 1 September 2015, with the commencement of the Powers of Attorney Act 2014,  which implements many of the Committee’s recommendations.

The Explanatory Memorandum to the Power of Attorney Bill noted: ‘The Bill also reflects a number of recommendations from the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) in its Guardianship: Final Report, which was tabled in Parliament in April 2012. In particular, the Bill allows for a new kind of appointment of a person to be known as a supportive attorney to support a person with impaired decision making ability to make and give effect to his or her own decisions. This important new legal mechanism, which is a legislative first in Australia, recognises that some people with impaired decision making ability do not need a guardian or administrator but are able to make their own decisions with support. Often that support comes from family members and trusted carers, and the ability to appoint a supportive attorney will acknowledge these relationships of support while ensuring that the person retains their right to make decisions.”

Timeline

Current: Table in parliament

Full timeline:

Reference
Consultation
Submissions
Final report
Tabled in parliament
View full timeline

Project Publications

Guardianship: Background Paper - Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. A number of jurisdictions have introduced legislative schemes which allow a designated person, or a combination of...

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Guardianship: Information Paper

This information paper was released in March 2010.  The paper explains the operation of the laws in Victoria. It also calls for submissions that tell...

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Guardianship: Information Paper - Easy English

This paper was released in March 2010.  It explains guardianship and administration law in Victoria. It also calls for submissions so people can tell...

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Guardianship: Information Paper - Summary

This summary was released in March 2010.  It provides a brief overview of the information contained in the Guardianship Information Paper. It briefly...

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Guardianship: Information Paper - Translations

The Guardianship: Information Paper was released in March 2010.  These documents provide a summary of the paper in languages other than English. They...

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Guardianship: Consultation Paper - Received Submissions

The Commission received a large number of submissions in response to the Guardianship: Consultation Paper. All public submissions are placed on this...

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Guardianship: Information Paper - Received Submissions

The Commission received a large number of submissions in response to the Guardianship: Information Paper. All public submissions are placed on this...

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Guardianship: Consultation Paper

The Guardianship: Consultation Paper was released in March 2011. It describes how Victoria's guardianship and administration laws currently operate,...

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Guardianship: Consultation Paper - Translations

These documents provide a summary of the Commission's Guardianship: Consultation Paper in languages other than English. They explain guardianship and...

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Guardianship: Consultation Paper - Summary

This summary provides an overview of the information contained in the Guardianship: Consultation Paper. It contains options for reforming Victoria's...

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Guardianship: Consultation Paper - Easy English

This Easy English paper uses simple, everyday language and illustrations to explain guardianship and administration laws in Victoria. It makes...

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Guardianship: Terms of Reference

1. The Victorian Law Reform Commission is to review and report on the desirability of changes to the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (the...

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