Tuesday, 05 March 2013

PJB v Melbourne Health (Patrick’s Case) (Supreme Court) - Apr 2011

This case concerned Patrick, a 58-year-old man with a mental illness, who had been living as an involuntary patient in a hospital. He appealed an order by VCAT appointing an unlimited administrator who may sell his home against his wishes on the basis that it infringed his human rights.

The Commission intervened to make submissions on the interpretation of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 in light of the obligation in section 32 of the Charter to interpret laws compatibly with human rights and the obligations of public authorities to act compatibly with human rights.

The Supreme Court considered Patrick's human rights in the Charter and in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Supreme Court held that the order of VCAT appointing an administrator unjustifiably interfered with his human rights under the Charter and ordered that VCAT's order appointing an administrator be set aside. See decision here.