Intellectual Disabilities

In 2001, the Vincent review, which looked into the operation of disability services, drew attention to serious issues in how people in care were restrained without their consent. The report asked for a transparent and accountable system that protected the rights and safety of people with disabilities and their carers. 

Subsequently, the Commission was asked in December 2001 to review the provisions for the compulsory care of persons with an intellectual disability who are at risk to themselves. Following the May 2002 discussion paper, People with Intellectual Disabilities at Risk, the Commission received 29 submissions and consulted widely with individuals and organisations. It also drew on an expert advisory committee.

The final report, tabled on 20 November 2003, included 141 recommendations. In particular, it recommended the introduction of legislative principles, a statutory office of Senior Clinician, preparation of detention plans, and that Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal should review decisions.

Implementation

The Victorian government adopted the most of the Commission’s recommendations in the Disability Act 2006 (Vic). 

In particular, Parts 7 and 8 of the Disability Act implemented the Commission’s recommendations for restrictive practices and compulsory treatment of people with an intellectual disability to be guided by principles, require treatment planning and approval and be subject to review by VCAT. 

The Disability Act also implemented the Commission’s recommendation for a clinician with oversight of restrictive practices and compulsory treatment, known as the ‘Senior Practitioner’.

On 21 March 2014, the Commonwealth, State and Territory Disability Ministers endorsed the National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Service Sector

The National Framework focuses on the reduction of the use of restrictive practices in disability services that involves restraint (including physical, mechanical or chemical) or seclusion.

Timeline

Current: Table in parliament

Full timeline:

Reference
Consultation
Submissions
Final report
Tabled in parliament
View full timeline

Project Publications

People with Intellectual Disabilities at Risk: Report

The People with Intellectual Disabilities at Risk: A Legal Framework for Compulsory Care: Report, tabled in Parliament on 20 November 2003,...

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People with Intellectual Disabilities at Risk: Recommendations

The Commission's People with Intellectual Disabilities at Risk report, published in November 2003, contained the 141 recommendations set out below...

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People with Intellectual Disabilities at Risk: Discussion Paper

The People with Intellectual Disabilities at Risk: A Legal Framework for Compulsory Care discussion paper was released in May 2002 and received 29...

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People with Intellectual Disabilities at Risk: Terms of Reference

In December 2001, the Victorian Law Reform Commission was asked to look into compulsory treatment of persons with an intellectual disability under...

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