In 2013, and again in 2014, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has recommended that Australia abolish its existing mental health laws which authorise involuntary treatment and detention, and replace them with a regime of supported decision-making. The Australian Law Reform Commission has also recommended the introduction of supported decision-making to replace mental health and guardianship laws. This paper critically evaluates the concepts of autonomy and discrimination and the social model of disability which provide the theoretical underpinning of the CRPD. Focussing on coercive treatment of adults with severe mental illness under Queensland’s Mental Health Act 2000, it then evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of supported decision-making, and concludes that the proposed abolition of involuntary treatment laws is not justified.
Del Villar, K. (2015). Should Supported Decision-Making Replace Substituted Decision-Making? The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Coercive Treatment under Queensland’s Mental Health Act 2000. Laws, 4(2), 173–200. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws4020173