The former Attorney-General of Tasmania, the Hon Vanessa Goodwin, requested the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute (TLRI) to review the Guardianship and Administration Act to confirm it continues to meet the needs of people with impaired decision making capacity, and that it is in line with international human rights laws.
The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute was asked to report on the need for there to be changes to the Act, considering issues including:
In December 2017, the TLRI released a detailed Issues Paper, and asked for responses from the community. The issues paper can be downloaded from the following links:
The issues paper can be downloaded from the following links:
The Office of the Public Guardian responded to the questions raised in the TLRI’s Issues Paper. We advocated for changes in the law that will encourage independence in decision-making, and for a shift in focus from the protective “best interests” approach to one that supports the wishes, will and preferences of the represented person. We strongly agreed with the inclusions of arrangements for supported decision-making, acknowledging the informal support given by family and friends, and keeping guardianship and administration orders as a last resort.
Our submission includes a number of recommendations to strengthen the role of the Public Guardian, particularly in relation to:
On 16 December 2018, the TLRI released its Final Report. The Report recommends significant reform of guardianship law, policy and practices. The recommendations are more closely aligned with the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, with the guiding principles ensuring decision-making focuses on the person’s will and preferences. The Report recommends a step-by-step decision-making process, and makes it clear that a person’s ability to make decisions with supports is fundamental.
Other key recommendations include:
The Report, together with an Easy Read version of the recommendations, is available on the Institute's webpage:
The Office of the Public Guardian congratulates the TLRI on the thorough work it has undertaken in the preparation of its Report on the review of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1995. We agree with the vast majority of the TLRI’s recommendations, and look forward to working with the State Government and all our partners to further consider the report and implementation of the recommendations agreed on. The Office of the Public Guardian has written a more detailed response to the TLRI’s recommendations.