Accessing Justice through Mental Health Law Reform in the Pacific

Helen J. Ménard, PhD
Legal Consultant, Picnic Bay, Queensland, Australia

Series: Human Rights: Background and Issues
BISAC: POL035010

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Much of the mental health legislation in the Pacific region is archaic, pays no attention to the rights of mental health consumers and is long overdue for reform. A small number of countries in the Pacific has recently undertaken such reform. This work analyses the provisions of past and present mental health statutes in selected Pacific countries to establish, firstly, whether the new legislation has prima facie created or improved pathways for access to justice for mental health consumers and, secondly, whether these pathways offer any practical benefit for those subject to involuntary detention. The research is based on field work involving interviews and correspondences with mental health professionals, court officials, law reformers, lawyers and other professionals in the Pacific region. (Imprint: Nova)

Figures and Tables

Preface

Acknowledgements

Abbreviations

Part I: Background and Context

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Mental Health in the Pacific

Chapter 3. International Influences on Mental Health Law

Part II: Mental Health Law and Policy in the Pacific

Chapter 4. The Legal Landscape in Mental Health

Chapter 5. Tonga

Chapter 6. Samoa

Chapter 7. Fiji

Chapter 8. Vanuatu

Part III: Access to Justice and its Challenges in the Pacific

Chapter 9. Access to Justice

Chapter 10. Accessing Justice in Mental Health

Chapter 11. Impediments to Accessing Justice through Mental Health Law Reform - Society and Culture

Chapter 12. Impediments to Accessing Justice through Mental Health Law Reform - Human Rights

Chapter 13. Impediments to Accessing Justice through Mental Health Law Reform - Resources and Policy

Part IV: Conclusion

Bibliography

Annexes

About the Author

Legislation and Treaties Index

Cases Index

General Index

Articles, Books, Reports


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Taufe’ulugaki, A, ‘Cultural Rights in the Tongan Context: Some Issues’ in M Wilson and P Hunt (eds), Culture, Rights, and Cultural Rights: Perspectives from the South Pacific (Huia Publishers, 2000).
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Then, Shih-Ning, ‘Evolution and Innovation in Guardianship Laws: Assisted Decision Making’ (2013) 35 Sydney Law Review 133.
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United States Department of State Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and Labor, ‘Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 - Fiji’ (2013).
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Cases
Acting Public Prosecutor v Uname Aumane & Others [1980] PNGLR 510; [1980] PGSC 5.AG v B [2001] QCA 169.Attorney General v Crichton [2014] WSCA 8.Attorney General v Garry David (aka Garry Webb) [1992] 2 VR 46.Buxton v Jayne (1960) 2 All ER 697.Crown v Manu [2011] TOSC 34.Fa’aoso v Paongo [2006] TOSC 37.Gorce v Miller [2003] TOSC 46.In re Application under Part VI of the Mental Treatment Act, Gokal v Gokal [2004] FJHC 28.In the Matter of the Constitution and the Laws of Tuvalu Act 1987, No.4 /1989 (unreported, High Court of Tuvalu, Donne CJ).Iosefa v Tuvalu Red Cross [2012] TVHC 9.Joli v Joli [2003] VUCA 27.Kable v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) (1996) 189 CLR 51; [1996] HCA 24.Kirby v Leather (1965) 2 All ER 441.Malette v Shulman (1990) 67 DLR (4th) 321.Nadan & McCoskar v State [2005] FJHC 252.Police v Auvailiili [2010] WSSC 88.Police v Fanueli [1993] WSSC 3.Police v Fono [1999] WSSC 51.Polites v Commonwealth (1945) 70 CLR 60.Public Prosecutor v Kalon [2008] VUSC 9.Public Prosecutor v Nicholls [2003] VUSC 8.Public Service Board of NSW v Osmond (1986) 159 CLR 656.R (on the application of JB) v RMO, Dr Haddock [2005] EWHC 921 (Admin).R (on the application of JB) v RMO, Dr Haddock [2006] EWCA Civ 961.R v Colgan (1959) SR (NSW) 96.R v M’Naghten (1843) 10 Cl & Fin 200 HL.R v Vola [2005] TOSC 31.Re Application by Kama [2007] Tonga LR 76.Rex v Taufa [2004] TOSC 66.Schloendorf v Society of New York Hospital 105 NE 82,93 (NY1914).Statement of Reasons in the Appeal of Gary Ian Patrick Webb (also known as Garry Ian Patrick David) a Security Patient at Aradale Hospital, Mental Health Review Board No. 230190:X01:300512, 9 May 1990.Tangata v Speaker of the Legislative Assembly [1997] CKHC 1.Tone v Police [2004] TOSC 36.Wagner v Radke [1997] WSSC 6.Waitemata Health v Her Majesty’s Attorney General & Ors [2001] NZCA 312.

Legislation
1914 Protocol relating to the New Hebrides between Britain and France.Act of Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2010 (Tonga).Act of Constitution (Amendment) (No. 3) Act 2010 (Tonga).Act of Constitution (Amendment) Act 2010 (Tonga).Administration of Justice Decree 2009 (Fiji Islands).Administration of Justice (Amendment) Decree 2009 (Fiji Islands)Administration of Justice (Amendment) (No.3) Decree 2010 (Fiji Islands).Civil Law Act [Cap 25] (Tonga).Community Protection Act 1994 (NSW).
Community Protection (Amendment) Act 1991
(Vic).Constitution (Amendment) Act 1997 (Fiji Islands).Constitution Amendment Act (No. 2) 1997 (Samoa).Constitution of the Independent State of Western Samoa 1960.
Constitution of the Republic of Fiji.
Constitution of the Republic of Vanuatu.Constitution of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Fiji 1990.Constitution of Tonga.
Consultation Draft, Mental Health Bill 2007 (Fiji Islands).Convention Against Torture And Other Cruel, Inhuman Or Degrading Treatment Or Punishment (Ratification) Act 2010 (Vanuatu).Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities (Ratification) Act 2008 (Vanuatu).Convention On The Rights Of the Child (Ratification) Act [Cap 219] (Vanuatu).Cook Islands Act 1915 (New Zealand).Crimes Decree 2009 (Fiji Islands).Crimes Ordinance 1961 (Samoa).Criminal Offences Act [Cap 18] (Tonga).Criminal Procedure Decree 2009 (Fiji Islands).Executive Authority of Fiji Decree 2009 (Fiji Islands).Fiji Constitution Amendment Act 1997 Revocation Decree 2009 (Fiji Islands).
Fiji Independence Order 1970.
Fijian Affairs (Amendment) Decree 2010 (Fiji Islands).Human Rights Commission Act 1999 (Fiji Islands).Human Rights Commission Decree 2009 (Fiji Islands).Law Commission Act [Cap115] (Vanuatu).Law Reform Commission Act 2008 (Samoa).Lunacy Act 1890.Lunatics Detention Act [Cap 80] (Tonga).Media Industry Development Decree 2010 (Fiji Islands).Medical Services Act [Cap 76] (Tonga).Mental Defectives Act 1911 (NZ).Mental Health Act 1911 (NZ).Mental Health Act 1930 (UK).Mental Health Act 1959 (UK).Mental Health Act 1983 (UK).Mental Health Act 1986 (Vic).Mental Health Act 1990 (NSW).Mental Health Act 1992 (Tonga).Mental Health Act 1993 (SA).Mental Health Act 1996 (Tas).Mental Health Act 1996 (WA).Mental Health Act 1998 (NT).
Mental Health Act 2000
(Qld).Mental Health Act 2001 (Tonga).Mental Health Act 2007 (Samoa).Mental Health Act 2007 (UK).Mental Health Act 2009 (SA).Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic).
Mental Health Amendment Act 1954
(NZ).Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 (NZ).Mental Health Decree 2010 (Fiji Islands).Mental Health Ordinance 1961 (Samoa).Mental Health and Related Services Amendment Act 2007 (NT).Mental Health (Treatment Order Forms) Notice 2007 (Samoa), S.R.2007/26 & 27 (7 June 2007).Mental Hospital Act [Cap 38] (Vanuatu).Mental Treatment Act [Cap 103] (Solomon Islands).Mental Treatment Act [Cap 113] (Fiji Islands).Mental Treatment Ordinance [Cap 37] (Tuvalu).Mental Treatment Ordinance [Cap 56] (Kiribati).Mentally Disordered Persons Ordinance 1963 (Nauru).New Hebrides Orders in Council (1922-1970).Nuie Act 1966 (NZ).Ombudsman (Komesina o Sulufaiga) Act 2013 (Samoa).Penal Code [Cap 26] (Solomon Islands).Penal Code [Cap 135] (Vanuatu).Prisons Act [Cap 86] (Fiji Islands).Prisons and Corrections Act 2006 (Fiji Islands).Ratification and Validation of the Declaration and Decrees of the Fiji Military Government Decree 2007 (Fiji Islands).Reprint of Statutes Act 1972 (Samoa).Samoa Act 1921 (NZ).Tonga Orders in Council 1952-1955.Western Pacific (Courts) Order 1961 (UK).

Treaties and Other International Instruments

CESCR Committee, General Comment No.14: The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health (Art. 12 of the ICESCR), 22nd sess, UN Doc E/C.12/2000/4 (8 November 2000).
CESCR, Limburg Principles on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, E/C.12/2000/13, 24th sess, Provisional Agenda Item 3, (10 February 2000).Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, opened for signature 10 December 1984, 1465 UNTS 85 (entered into force 26 June 1987).Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, opened for signature 1 March 1980, 1249 UNTS 13 (entered into force 3 September 1981).Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilites, opened for signature 13 December 2006, 2515 UNTS 3 (entered into force 3 May 2008).Convention on the Rights of the Child, opened for signature 20 November 1989, 1577 UNTS 3 (entered into force 2 September 1990).
ESCR Committee, General Comment No. 3: The Nature of States Parties Obligations (Art. 2, para. 1 of the Covenant), 5th Sess, UN Doc E/1991/23 (4 December 1990).Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, opened for signature 25 October 1980, 1343 UNTS (entered into force 1 December 1983).International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, opened for signature 16 December 1966, 999 UNTS 171 (entered into force 23 March 1976).International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, opened for signature 16 December 1966, 993 UNTS 3 (entered into force 3 January 1976).
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Health Care, GA Res 46/119, (17 December 1991).
Office of the High Commssioner for Human Rights, CESCR General Comment 5: Persons with Disabilities, 11th sess, UN Doc E/1995/22 (12 September 1994).Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, opened for signature 13 December 2006, Doc.A/61/611 (entered into force 3 May 2008).
UN Commission on Human Rights, The Siracusa Principles on the Limitation and Derogation Provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, E/CN.4/1985/4, (28 September 1984).Universal Declaration of Human Rights, GA Res 217A (III), UN GAOR, 3rd sess, 183rd plen mtg, UN Doc A/810 (10 December 1948).World Health Organisation Sixty-Fifth World Health Assembly, Comm A, 1st report, 9th plen mtg, Res WHA65.4, WHA65/2012/REC/1 (adopted 25 May 2012).

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Those for whom this work would be of most interest include mental health policy makers, law reformers, legislative drafters and researchers both in a mental health setting as well as the broader human rights framework. This would include not only those groups in the Pacific but also Australia and New Zealand and other countries who provide substantial amounts of financial aid for capacity building and policy development in the Pacific region.

It would also have relevance to mental health professionals (both health service providers and lawyers), academics and post graduate researchers in mental health law and policy and human rights and disability law in general. The work would also be significant at both a regional level where the literature and research is sparse and at an international level in developing countries with similar political infrastructures and socio-cultural issues.

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