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Divert<strong>in</strong>g<br />

mentally disordered <strong>of</strong>fenders<br />

<strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> NSW<br />

Monograph 31 – March 2008


Divert<strong>in</strong>g<br />

mentally disordered<br />

<strong>of</strong>fenders <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

Tom Gotsis<br />

Senior Research Officer (Legal)<br />

Hugh Donnelly<br />

Director, Research and Sentenc<strong>in</strong>g


Published <strong>in</strong> Sydney by the:<br />

<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Level 5, 301 George Street,<br />

Sydney NSW 2000<br />

DX 886 Sydney<br />

GPO Box 3634<br />

Sydney NSW 2001<br />

www.judcom.nsw.gov.au<br />

National Library <strong>of</strong> Australia<br />

Catalogu<strong>in</strong>g-<strong>in</strong>-publication entry<br />

Author:<br />

Title:<br />

Gotsis, Tom.<br />

Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered <strong>of</strong>fenders <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court/Tom Gotsis, Hugh Donnelly.<br />

Publisher: Sydney: <strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>, 2008.<br />

ISBN:<br />

Subjects:<br />

9780731356225 (pbk.)<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Local Court.<br />

Mentally ill <strong>of</strong>fenders — Legal status, laws, etc. — <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>.<br />

Mentally ill <strong>of</strong>fenders — Mental health services — <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>.<br />

Mental health laws — <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>.<br />

Other Authors/Contributors:<br />

Donnelly, Hugh, 1965<br />

<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>.<br />

Dewey Number: 364.3809944<br />

© <strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> 2008<br />

This publication is copyright. Other than for the purposes <strong>of</strong>, and subject to the conditions prescribed under the<br />

Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), no part <strong>of</strong> it may <strong>in</strong> any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, microcopy<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

photocopy<strong>in</strong>g, record<strong>in</strong>g or otherwise) be reproduced, stored <strong>in</strong> a retrieval system or transmitted without prior<br />

permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publisher.<br />

The views expressed <strong>in</strong> this monograph are the views <strong>of</strong> the <strong>in</strong>dividual authors and do not represent any <strong>of</strong>ficial<br />

views <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>, nor are they necessarily shared by all members <strong>of</strong> the<br />

staff <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Commission</strong>. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken <strong>in</strong> the preparation <strong>of</strong> this publication, no<br />

liability is assumed for any errors or omissions.<br />

Editor: Fleur F<strong>in</strong>dlay<br />

Graphic design and typesett<strong>in</strong>g: Lorra<strong>in</strong>e Beal<br />

Pr<strong>in</strong>ted by: Emerald Press


<strong>Judicial</strong> Summary <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Contents<br />

Summary <strong>of</strong> issues that emerged. .................................................. v<br />

Use <strong>of</strong> s 32 orders <strong>in</strong> the Local Court 2004–2006. ................................... v<br />

Non-compliance ............................................................. v<br />

The nature <strong>of</strong> the decision to divert under s 32(1) ....................................vi<br />

Ambiguity about the duration <strong>of</strong> ss 32(2) and 32(3) orders ............................ vii<br />

Unfitness and s 32 .......................................................... viii<br />

Treatment plans ............................................................ viii<br />

Coverage <strong>of</strong> s 32 ........................................................... viii<br />

The resources debate .........................................................ix<br />

Introduction ................................................................... 1<br />

Survey ....................................................................... 1<br />

The recorded <strong>in</strong>cidence <strong>of</strong> people suffer<strong>in</strong>g mental conditions <strong>in</strong> NSW ..................... 2<br />

Number and nature <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) orders imposed ........................................ 4<br />

Table 1: Persons discharged by way <strong>of</strong> a s 32(3) order, 2004–2006 ...................... 4<br />

Nature <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fences committed ..................................................... 5<br />

Table 2: Type <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fences (ASOC) category dealt with by s 32 orders, by<br />

number <strong>of</strong> counts, 2004–2006 .................................................. 6<br />

The statutory scheme <strong>in</strong> a national and <strong>in</strong>ternational context ............................. 8<br />

The statutory history <strong>of</strong> s 32. ...................................................... 9<br />

The current statutory scheme .................................................... 11<br />

Exercis<strong>in</strong>g the s 32 discretion .................................................. 11<br />

Matters relevantly taken <strong>in</strong>to account under s 32(1)(b). ............................... 13<br />

The seriousness <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fence(s) ............................................... 13<br />

Six-month enforceability limit <strong>of</strong> orders ........................................... 14<br />

Existence and content <strong>of</strong> treatment plan .......................................... 14<br />

Interlocutory orders under s 32(2) and the duration <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) orders ...................... 14<br />

The importance <strong>of</strong> a treatment plan ................................................ 16<br />

Treatment outcome data ........................................................ 17<br />

Table 3: Suggested <strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion required <strong>in</strong> treatment plans & related <strong>report</strong>s .............. 18<br />

III


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Enforceability: Failure <strong>of</strong> defendants to comply with a s 32 order ......................... 19<br />

Reports from service providers: s 32A ........................................... 19<br />

Call ups and further proceed<strong>in</strong>gs ............................................... 19<br />

The breach figures 2004–2006 ................................................. 20<br />

Table 4: Breaches <strong>of</strong> conditional s 32 orders, 2004–2006 ............................. 20<br />

The survey and breaches ..................................................... 20<br />

Is the six-month enforceability period long enough?. .................................. 21<br />

Section 32 and unfitness ........................................................ 22<br />

Other issues raised by magistrates ................................................ 23<br />

The coverage <strong>of</strong> conditions under s 32 ............................................. 24<br />

“Developmentally disabled”. ................................................... 26<br />

“Mental illness” ............................................................. 27<br />

“Suffer<strong>in</strong>g from a mental condition for which treatment is available <strong>in</strong> a<br />

hospital/mental health facility” .................................................. 27<br />

Trial <strong>in</strong>to the efficacy <strong>of</strong> s 32 orders ................................................ 28<br />

Future directions: A therapeutic evaluation <strong>of</strong> s 32 .................................... 29<br />

The resources debate and s 32 ................................................... 31<br />

Appendix 1: Text <strong>of</strong> ss 32 and 32A. ................................................ 33<br />

Appendix 2: Questionnaire. ...................................................... 35<br />

Bibliography .................................................................. 39<br />

Table <strong>of</strong> cases. .................................................................43<br />

Index. ....................................................................... 45<br />

IV


<strong>Judicial</strong> Summary <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Summary <strong>of</strong> issues that emerged<br />

Use <strong>of</strong> s 32 orders <strong>in</strong> the Local Court 2004–2006<br />

Section 32 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act 1990 enables mentally<br />

disordered defendants fac<strong>in</strong>g crim<strong>in</strong>al charges <strong>in</strong> the Local Court to be diverted by<br />

the court from the crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system. Defendants diverted under s 32(3) between<br />

2004–2006 represented only a small fraction <strong>of</strong> those who appeared <strong>in</strong> the Local court. i<br />

Nearly 80% <strong>of</strong> defendants subject to a s 32(3) order were discharged conditionally<br />

<strong>in</strong>to the care <strong>of</strong> a responsible person under s 32(3)(a) (55%) or for assessment and/<br />

or treatment under s 32(3)(b) (24%). ii The <strong>of</strong>fences allegedly committed by these<br />

defendants were varied but traffic <strong>of</strong>fences were not predom<strong>in</strong>ant. iii Magistrates<br />

expressed a reluctance to utilise s 32 orders for traffic <strong>of</strong>fences. iv<br />

Non-compliance<br />

The amendments to s 32 <strong>in</strong>troduced <strong>in</strong> 2004 — which empower a magistrate under<br />

s 32(3A) to call up a defendant with<strong>in</strong> six months for a failure to comply with a<br />

condition <strong>of</strong> a s 32(3) order — were utilised extremely rarely <strong>in</strong> the period 2004–2006.<br />

In fact, only 38 breaches were recorded across the Local Court for the period<br />

2004–2006. v Further research is required to ascerta<strong>in</strong> why there are so few call ups<br />

and <strong>report</strong>ed breaches <strong>of</strong> s 32 conditional orders. It is important that confidence <strong>in</strong><br />

the <strong>in</strong>tegrity <strong>of</strong> s 32 orders is ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>ed. If it is shown that breaches are not be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

brought to the attention <strong>of</strong> magistrates, the s 32 disposition may become discredited<br />

and courts may become reluctant to utilise the statutory scheme. vi Further research<br />

can ascerta<strong>in</strong> whether there is a general reluctance on the part <strong>of</strong> treatment providers<br />

i As Table 1 on p 4 reveals, 2711 defendants were discharged under s 32(3) dur<strong>in</strong>g 2004–2006.<br />

The Local Court <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Annual Reviews for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 reveal<br />

that, <strong>in</strong> the same period, there were 678,591 crim<strong>in</strong>al matters f<strong>in</strong>alised <strong>in</strong> the Local Court. While<br />

“crim<strong>in</strong>al matters f<strong>in</strong>alised” and “number <strong>of</strong> people diverted” are not exact equivalents — as one<br />

person may be the subject <strong>of</strong> numerous crim<strong>in</strong>al matters — the comparison suggests that the<br />

number <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) orders made is relatively small. Given the nature <strong>of</strong> the order it is not uncommon<br />

for a person to have received more than one s 32 order: see Mantell v Molyneux (2006) 68<br />

NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955 at [14].<br />

ii Table 1 on p 4.<br />

iii Table 2 on p 6 reveals that only 7% <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fences attract<strong>in</strong>g s 32(3) f<strong>in</strong>al orders were for the<br />

Australian Standard Offence Classification <strong>of</strong> Road Traffic and Motor Vehicle Regulatory Offences.<br />

See also the discussion at p 5.<br />

iv We surveyed magistrates to ascerta<strong>in</strong> their views on a range <strong>of</strong> issues concern<strong>in</strong>g s 32. The<br />

nature <strong>of</strong> the survey is outl<strong>in</strong>ed on p 1 and the results discussed throughout the monograph, as<br />

relevant, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g pp 23–24. The questionnaire is reproduced as Appendix 2 on p 35.<br />

v See Table 4 on p 20. The term “Local Court” is used throughout, rather than “Local Courts”,<br />

follow<strong>in</strong>g the pass<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> the Local Court Act 2007.<br />

vi See the analogous comments by the Court <strong>of</strong> Crim<strong>in</strong>al Appeal about breaches <strong>of</strong> bonds <strong>in</strong> R v<br />

Morris (unrep, 14/7/95, NSWCCA) <strong>in</strong> particular at p 5:<br />

“… if leniency extended <strong>in</strong> such fashion is abused, there is a very real risk that the whole<br />

regimen <strong>of</strong> non-custodial sentenc<strong>in</strong>g options will be discredited both <strong>in</strong> the eyes <strong>of</strong> those<br />

V


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

and/or responsible persons to br<strong>in</strong>g breaches to the attention <strong>of</strong> the relevant agencies<br />

referred to <strong>in</strong> s 32A(1). It could also identify any problems faced by the agencies at<br />

the breach stage. The enactment <strong>of</strong> the breach provisions does not appear to have<br />

remedied the concerns expressed by magistrates about the non-accountability <strong>of</strong> s 32<br />

orders. vii<br />

The surveyed magistrates confirmed that the objectives <strong>of</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g s 32 orders<br />

enforceable (the 2004 amendments) and encourag<strong>in</strong>g the <strong>report</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> breaches<br />

(the 2005 amendments) have not been realised. They <strong>report</strong>ed that call-up<br />

proceed<strong>in</strong>gs for non-compliance are virtually non-existent and that they receive very<br />

little <strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion after the s 32(3) order is made. viii Moreover, 70% <strong>of</strong> the surveyed<br />

magistrates expressed the view that six months is too short a period to enforce a<br />

conditional order made under s 32(3). ix<br />

The nature <strong>of</strong> the decision to divert under s 32(1)<br />

It is firmly established <strong>in</strong> the case law that the decision to divert a defendant under<br />

s 32(1) is discretionary. The decision can only be set aside if legal error <strong>of</strong> the type<br />

referred to <strong>in</strong> the High Court decision <strong>of</strong> House v The K<strong>in</strong>g x is established. xi The case<br />

members <strong>of</strong> the community who might otherwise have cont<strong>in</strong>ued to support them and <strong>in</strong> the<br />

eyes <strong>of</strong> magistrates and judges; and there is a substantial risk that courts, <strong>of</strong> their own motion<br />

but also reflect<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a general way community op<strong>in</strong>ion, may become <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>gly reluctant to<br />

extend to <strong>of</strong>fenders those lesser sentenc<strong>in</strong>g options which the legislature has provided. It is<br />

therefore extremely important that breaches <strong>of</strong> non-custodial sentenc<strong>in</strong>g orders be brought<br />

promptly to the notice <strong>of</strong> the sentenc<strong>in</strong>g court and there be dealt with swiftly and, generally<br />

speak<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>in</strong> a manner which will demonstrate how seriously such breaches are regarded and<br />

must be regarded <strong>in</strong> the community <strong>in</strong>terest …”<br />

vii See M Spiers, “Summary Disposal <strong>of</strong> Crim<strong>in</strong>al Offences under s 32 Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al<br />

Procedure) Act 1990” (2004) 16(2) <strong>Judicial</strong> Officers’ Bullet<strong>in</strong> 9, who notes that:<br />

“This reform was recommended by the Interdepartmental Committee on the Mental Health<br />

(Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act 1990 and Cognate Legislation, a committee comprised <strong>of</strong> senior<br />

government agency representatives, barristers and psychiatrists. It was advocated ma<strong>in</strong>ly<br />

by magistrates and practitioners who could see that many defendants did not comply with<br />

conditions <strong>of</strong> orders where there were no ramifications for non-compliance. This would lead to<br />

their <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g behaviour escalat<strong>in</strong>g, someth<strong>in</strong>g which was not detected until the person was<br />

brought before the court aga<strong>in</strong> on fresh, and <strong>of</strong>ten more serious, charges. Ultimately, courts<br />

were forced to impose severe crim<strong>in</strong>al penalties, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g custodial sentences. As a result,<br />

the opportunity for positive, effective, <strong>in</strong>tervention and diversion at the earliest stage was be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

lost. Many magistrates had become reluctant to make orders under s 32. Consequently, the<br />

rehabilitative opportunities that the section presented were not be<strong>in</strong>g used.”<br />

viii Discussed under the head<strong>in</strong>g “The survey and breaches” on p 20.<br />

ix Discussed under the head<strong>in</strong>g “Is the six-month enforceability period long enough?” on p 21.<br />

x (1936) 55 CLR 499 at 505.<br />

xi Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v El Mawas (2006) 66 NSWLR 93; [2006] NSWCA 154 at [4] and<br />

[76]; Mantell v Molyneux (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955 at [38].<br />

VI


Summary<br />

law also reveals that relevant considerations which can <strong>in</strong>form the exercise <strong>of</strong> the<br />

discretion <strong>in</strong>clude:<br />

the seriousness and circumstances <strong>of</strong> the alleged <strong>of</strong>fence(s) xii<br />

the defendant’s crim<strong>in</strong>al history xiii<br />

the existence and content <strong>of</strong> a treatment plan xiv<br />

the limited period <strong>of</strong> six months that conditional orders are enforceable by the<br />

court xv and<br />

the sentenc<strong>in</strong>g options that are available <strong>in</strong> the event the defendant is dealt with<br />

accord<strong>in</strong>g to law. xvi<br />

Ambiguity about the duration <strong>of</strong> ss 32(2) and 32(3) orders<br />

Section 32 suffers from textual ambiguity on the question <strong>of</strong> what is the maximum<br />

permissible length <strong>of</strong> a conditional order that can be made under ss 32(3) and 32(2).<br />

This ambiguity has arisen s<strong>in</strong>ce the <strong>in</strong>troduction (<strong>in</strong> 2004) <strong>of</strong> the breach provisions<br />

which provide for a call-up procedure up to six months from the imposition <strong>of</strong> a<br />

conditional s 32(3) order. The Commonwealth equivalent <strong>of</strong> s 32, found <strong>in</strong> s 20BQ <strong>of</strong><br />

the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth), sets a three-year limit for the term <strong>of</strong> the order. Sections<br />

32(3) and 32(2), on the other hand, are silent on the issue. It was assumed at first<br />

<strong>in</strong>stance and on appeal <strong>in</strong> Mantell v Molyneux xvii that a conditional order under<br />

s 32(3) could not be made beyond the six-month period that the order could be<br />

enforced. Section 32(3) was read down to ensure there was symmetry between<br />

the enforcement provisions and the substantive order. Given that the enforcement<br />

provisions were <strong>in</strong>serted after the enactment <strong>of</strong> s 32 and the Parliament chose not<br />

to expressly limit the duration <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) orders at that time, we doubt whether the<br />

rules <strong>of</strong> statutory <strong>in</strong>terpretation would permit such a restrictive <strong>in</strong>terpretation. The<br />

implication (<strong>of</strong> a six-month limit) cannot be regarded as necessary for the operation<br />

<strong>of</strong> the section. xviii Magistrates have s<strong>in</strong>ce been encouraged by the Supreme Court <strong>in</strong><br />

Mantell’s case (at [45]) to utilise the broadly expressed <strong>in</strong>terlocutory provisions <strong>in</strong><br />

s 32(2) with the effect <strong>of</strong> extend<strong>in</strong>g “… by a considerable marg<strong>in</strong> the six-month<br />

limit”. At present no data is collected about the use and frequency <strong>of</strong> these s 32(2)<br />

<strong>in</strong>terlocutory orders.<br />

If s 32(2) is utilised to impose lengthy <strong>in</strong>terlocutory orders, then data about them<br />

should also be <strong>of</strong>ficially collected <strong>in</strong> the same way as it is for s 32(3) orders. In any<br />

event, the issues <strong>of</strong> what exactly is the maximum permissible length <strong>of</strong> a s 32(3)<br />

order and what is the relationship between <strong>in</strong>terlocutory orders and f<strong>in</strong>al orders may<br />

require legislative clarification.<br />

xii Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v El Mawas (2006) 66 NSWLR 93; [2006] NSWCA 154, per<br />

McColl JA at [77]; Confos v Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions [2004] NSWSC 1159 at [17].<br />

xiii Mantell v Molyneux (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955 at [14]–[15], and [41].<br />

xiv Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v El Mawas (2006) 66 NSWLR 93; [2006] NSWCA 154 at [10].<br />

xv Mantell v Molyneux (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955 at [47].<br />

xvi ibid at [40].<br />

xvii ibid at [45].<br />

xviii Discussed at pp 14–16.<br />

VII


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Unfitness and s 32<br />

The relationship between the decision under s 32 to divert a defendant and the issue<br />

<strong>of</strong> whether the defendant is unfit to be tried cont<strong>in</strong>ues to arise. The prevail<strong>in</strong>g view is<br />

that, as s 32 is a threshold diversionary mechanism, it should be considered before<br />

the issue <strong>of</strong> unfitness arises. xix Therefore, even a person whose mental disorder<br />

patently makes them unfit to stand trial can be diverted under s 32. xx This raises<br />

difficult questions about procedural fairness <strong>in</strong> s 32 applications. If the magistrate<br />

decides not to deal with the defendant by way <strong>of</strong> a s 32 order and a question <strong>of</strong><br />

unfitness rema<strong>in</strong>s, the magistrate is required to resolve the issue by apply<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

common law on the subject as enunciated by the High Court. xxi The common law<br />

applies because <strong>of</strong> the exclusion <strong>of</strong> the Local Court from the unfitness provisions<br />

found <strong>in</strong> Pt 2 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act 1990. xxii<br />

Treatment plans<br />

It was held by the court <strong>in</strong> Director Public Prosecutions v Albon xxiii and Perry v Forbes xxiv<br />

that clear and effective treatment plans must be available to magistrates before the<br />

discretion to make a s 32 order can be exercised. Overall, magistrates respond<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to our survey <strong>in</strong>dicated that treatment plans were not always <strong>in</strong>itially available or<br />

prepared to adequate standards, and that adjournments were required to rectify<br />

this shortcom<strong>in</strong>g. xxv Table 3 on p 18 provides details <strong>of</strong> suggested <strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion that<br />

treatment plans and related <strong>report</strong>s should conta<strong>in</strong>.<br />

Coverage <strong>of</strong> s 32<br />

Concerns were raised by some magistrates about the difficulties surround<strong>in</strong>g attempts<br />

to clearly def<strong>in</strong>e and diagnose mental disorders. The authors <strong>of</strong> the Diagnostic and<br />

Statistical Manual <strong>of</strong> Mental Disorders xxvi candidly acknowledge that no system <strong>of</strong><br />

categorisation can impose perfect order on the irreducible complexity <strong>of</strong> mental<br />

health. Section 32(1) caters for this complexity by us<strong>in</strong>g three broad categories <strong>of</strong><br />

mental disorder and simply requir<strong>in</strong>g an appearance (“it appears to the magistrate”) <strong>of</strong><br />

mental disorder.<br />

xix Perry v Forbes (unrep, 21/5/93, NSWSC) at p 12; Mantell v Molyneux (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006]<br />

NSWSC 955 at [16] and [49], cit<strong>in</strong>g Mackie v Hunt (1989) 19 NSWLR 130. See discussion at p 22 ff.<br />

xx Mantell v Molyneux (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955 at [49], cit<strong>in</strong>g Mackie v Hunt (1989)<br />

19 NSWLR 130.<br />

xxi ibid Mantell at [28]–[32]. See Ngatayi v The Queen (1980) 147 CLR 1 at 7–8.<br />

xxii Section 4 Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act 1990 and see Mantell v Molyneux (2006) 68<br />

NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955 at [18].<br />

xxiii [2000] NSWSC 896.<br />

xxiv (unrep, 21/5/93, NSWSC).<br />

xxv Discussed at p 17.<br />

xxvi American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual <strong>of</strong> Mental Disorders, Fourth<br />

Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV), Wash<strong>in</strong>gton DC, 2000, pp xxx–xxxi, discussed at n 117–118 and<br />

accompany<strong>in</strong>g text.<br />

VIII


Summary<br />

The aim <strong>of</strong> s 32 is furthered, not h<strong>in</strong>dered, by deal<strong>in</strong>g with such a complex field <strong>in</strong><br />

broad terms. xxvii<br />

Nevertheless, the categories <strong>of</strong> mental disorder identified as fall<strong>in</strong>g with<strong>in</strong> the<br />

coverage <strong>of</strong> s 32 conta<strong>in</strong> anomalies and may warrant re-consideration. For example,<br />

the reference to hospital treatment made <strong>in</strong> s 32(1)(c) — “Suffer<strong>in</strong>g from a mental<br />

condition for which treatment is available <strong>in</strong> hospital” — was described by the<br />

surveyed magistrates as archaic. xxviii A lead<strong>in</strong>g mental health pr<strong>of</strong>essional has said<br />

it has connotations <strong>of</strong> the undesirable past practice <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>stitutionalisation. xxix The<br />

phrase has s<strong>in</strong>ce been replaced <strong>in</strong> 2007 with “for which treatment is available <strong>in</strong><br />

a mental health facility”. The focus has not shifted to the availability <strong>of</strong> treatment<br />

per se, which is what ultimately matters, or to treatment <strong>in</strong> the community, as the<br />

cont<strong>in</strong>gency <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>stitutionalisation rema<strong>in</strong>s. xxx<br />

Additionally, the Intellectual Disability Rights Service is concerned that s 32 is not<br />

be<strong>in</strong>g used frequently enough for defendants with <strong>in</strong>tellectual disabilities. xxxi They<br />

raise as an issue for consideration whether s 32(1)(a)(i) should be expanded to<br />

<strong>in</strong>clude “<strong>in</strong>tellectual disability”.<br />

The resources debate<br />

The surveyed magistrates expressed a general concern about the adequacy <strong>of</strong><br />

resources and whether the policy objectives beh<strong>in</strong>d s 32 are be<strong>in</strong>g underm<strong>in</strong>ed by a<br />

lack <strong>of</strong> community mental health care services. These concerns corroborate those<br />

expressed by the NSW Legislative Council Select Committee on Mental Health. xxxii<br />

xxvii Discussed under the head<strong>in</strong>g “The coverage <strong>of</strong> conditions under s 32”, p 24.<br />

xxviii Discussed at p 28.<br />

xxix A Robilliard, Psychologist. The issue is discussed at p 28.<br />

xxx ibid.<br />

xxxi Discussed at p 27 and n 123.<br />

xxxii Mental Health Services <strong>in</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>: F<strong>in</strong>al Report, 2002, NSW Parliament (Legislative<br />

Council), Sydney. Discussed at p 3 and n 16 and p 31 and n 144.<br />

IX


Introduction<br />

Between 2004–2006, 2711 persons dealt with <strong>in</strong> the Local Court were diverted<br />

from the crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system by way <strong>of</strong> an order under s 32 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health<br />

(Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act 1990. 1<br />

Section 32 permits a magistrate <strong>in</strong> summary proceed<strong>in</strong>gs to divert mentally<br />

disordered defendants from the crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system by dismiss<strong>in</strong>g their charges<br />

and discharg<strong>in</strong>g them:<br />

<strong>in</strong>to the care <strong>of</strong> a responsible person (unconditionally or subject to conditions)<br />

on the condition that the defendant obta<strong>in</strong> mental health assessment and/or<br />

treatment, or<br />

unconditionally.<br />

It operates when it appears to a magistrate that a defendant is (or was at the time <strong>of</strong><br />

the alleged <strong>of</strong>fence) developmentally disabled, mentally ill or has a mental condition<br />

for which treatment is available <strong>in</strong> a mental health facility, but is not a mentally ill<br />

person with<strong>in</strong> the mean<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health Act 2007.<br />

This study analyses the history and text <strong>of</strong> s 32 <strong>in</strong> light <strong>of</strong> recent case law. We <strong>report</strong><br />

the results <strong>of</strong> a survey <strong>of</strong> magistrates and exam<strong>in</strong>e court data collected by the NSW<br />

Bureau <strong>of</strong> Crime Statistics and Research. The question <strong>of</strong> whether the statutory<br />

objectives <strong>of</strong> s 32 are be<strong>in</strong>g achieved is the subject <strong>of</strong> a current reference <strong>of</strong> the <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Law Reform <strong>Commission</strong>. 2 The issues raised <strong>in</strong> this study should assist<br />

<strong>in</strong> that <strong>in</strong>quiry. Gleeson CJ remarked that sentenc<strong>in</strong>g an <strong>of</strong>fender who suffers from a<br />

mental disorder commonly calls for a “sensitive discretionary decision”. 3 The remark<br />

is apposite to a decision by a magistrate to divert a person under s 32.<br />

Survey<br />

We surveyed magistrates us<strong>in</strong>g a questionnaire sent via email. 4 The primary purpose<br />

<strong>of</strong> the survey was to elicit op<strong>in</strong>ions concern<strong>in</strong>g the operation <strong>of</strong> s 32. The survey was<br />

deliberately designed us<strong>in</strong>g several open-ended questions to encourage free-form<br />

responses. Just over one-quarter (n=33 or 26%) <strong>of</strong> all NSW magistrates who hear<br />

crim<strong>in</strong>al matters responded to the survey.<br />

1 As detailed <strong>in</strong> Table 1 on p 4. The text <strong>of</strong> ss 32 and 32A is attached as Appendix 1 on p 33.<br />

2 Correspondence <strong>of</strong> P Hennessy, Executive Director, <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Law Reform <strong>Commission</strong>,<br />

17 October 2007.<br />

3 R v Engert (1995) 84 A Crim R 67 at 67.<br />

4 The survey is reproduced as Appendix 2 on p 35.<br />

1


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

The recorded <strong>in</strong>cidence <strong>of</strong> people suffer<strong>in</strong>g mental conditions <strong>in</strong> NSW<br />

Mental disorder affects 20% <strong>of</strong> people over the course <strong>of</strong> their life. 5<br />

In March 2007 a Bureau <strong>of</strong> Crime Statistics and Research study surveyed 189 people<br />

who appeared <strong>in</strong> two NSW Local Courts. The study <strong>report</strong>ed that 55% suffered from<br />

one or more psychiatric disorders. 6 Seventy-five percent <strong>of</strong> those people met one or<br />

more criteria for disordered or dependent substance abuse, that is:<br />

“… people who <strong>report</strong> psychiatric disorders almost universally present<br />

with a co-morbid substance use disorder.” 7<br />

The study came with several riders about translat<strong>in</strong>g the f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>gs to all defendants. 8<br />

Nevertheless, the authors concluded:<br />

“… it would appear that focus<strong>in</strong>g on the mental health needs <strong>of</strong> NSW<br />

court defendants would be an important part <strong>of</strong> any <strong>of</strong>fender-based<br />

crim<strong>in</strong>al justice <strong>in</strong>tervention.” 9<br />

The f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>of</strong> this 2007 study accord with others which have recorded the<br />

prevalence <strong>of</strong> mental illness <strong>in</strong> NSW generally and amongst people who come <strong>in</strong>to<br />

contact with the crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system. The various studies <strong>of</strong> prisoner populations<br />

reveal that many people with a mental disorder are found <strong>in</strong> the prison system and<br />

prisons have an adverse effect on mental health. 10 The follow<strong>in</strong>g picture emerges:<br />

Prisoners had similar levels <strong>of</strong> physical function<strong>in</strong>g to the general community but<br />

significantly lower levels <strong>of</strong> mental health and higher levels <strong>of</strong> psychological distress. 11<br />

5 T Carney, D Tait, D Chappell, F Beaupert, “Mental Health Tribunals: ‘TJ’ Implications <strong>of</strong> Weigh<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Fairness, Freedom, Protection and Treatment” (2007) 17 Journal <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong> Adm<strong>in</strong>istration 46 at 46.<br />

6 C Jones and S Crawford, “The psychosocial needs <strong>of</strong> NSW court defendants” (2007) 108 Crime<br />

and Justice Bullet<strong>in</strong> 1. Available at: , accessed 25/1/2008.<br />

7 ibid p 6.<br />

8 ibid. For <strong>in</strong>stance, it did not “employ a validated measurement scale” and “there may have been a<br />

tendency among some participants to over-diagnose particular health problems” particularly mental<br />

health problems. Further, because the sample generated was self-select<strong>in</strong>g the study could not be<br />

used to measure the overall prevalence <strong>of</strong> these various problems among court defendants.<br />

9 ibid p 7.<br />

10 Disturb<strong>in</strong>gly, the discredited view that mentally disordered accused should be treated <strong>in</strong> prisons<br />

has recently found support <strong>in</strong> the mental health field. Pr<strong>of</strong>essor I Hickie, Executive Director <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Bra<strong>in</strong> and M<strong>in</strong>d Institute, noted on the ABC’s 7.30 Report <strong>of</strong> 17/9/2007 that:<br />

“[I]t has been common practice <strong>in</strong> mental health to feel that go<strong>in</strong>g to prison is a reasonable<br />

way … <strong>of</strong> gett<strong>in</strong>g care. In this century, that is unacceptable”. (Transcript available at .)<br />

Additionally, Pr<strong>of</strong>essor D Greenberg and B Nielson note that a “myth” exists with<strong>in</strong> mental health<br />

services that prison mental health services are better equipped to manage mentally ill defendants<br />

charged with m<strong>in</strong>or <strong>of</strong>fences: “Mov<strong>in</strong>g Towards a Statewide Approach to Court Diversion Services <strong>in</strong><br />

NSW” (2003) 14(11–12) NSW Public Health Bullet<strong>in</strong> 227 at 228.<br />

11 T Butler et al, “Mental Disorders <strong>in</strong> Australian Prisoners: A Comparison with a Community<br />

Sample” (2006) 40 Australian and <strong>New</strong> Zealand Journal <strong>of</strong> Psychiatry 272 at 273.<br />

2


Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

In 2003, over a 12-month period, the prevalence <strong>of</strong> any psychiatric disorder <strong>in</strong><br />

the <strong>in</strong>mate population (74%) was substantially higher than the prevalence rate<br />

for the general community (22%). 12<br />

In 2006 the overall prevalence <strong>of</strong> psychiatric disorder was 80% for prisoners<br />

compared to 31% for the general population. 13<br />

People suffer<strong>in</strong>g from an <strong>in</strong>tellectual disability comprise 12–13% <strong>of</strong> the <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> prison population — four times the population-wide rate <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>tellectual disability. 14<br />

Widespread use <strong>of</strong> drugs and alcohol will tend to <strong>in</strong>crease the prevalence <strong>of</strong><br />

mental disorder <strong>in</strong> the community and, <strong>in</strong> turn, the likelihood <strong>of</strong> people with<br />

mental disorder appear<strong>in</strong>g before the courts. 15<br />

Accord<strong>in</strong>g to the <strong>report</strong> <strong>of</strong> the Legislative Council’s Select Committee on<br />

Mental Health, implement<strong>in</strong>g the Richmond Report only partially — that is,<br />

decentralis<strong>in</strong>g mental health care without provid<strong>in</strong>g for sufficient communitybased<br />

mental health care services — has led to <strong>in</strong>adequate care for many<br />

people with mental disorders and an <strong>in</strong>crease <strong>in</strong> the number <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fenders with<br />

mental disorders appear<strong>in</strong>g before the courts. 16<br />

12 T Butler and S Allnut, Mental Illness Among <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Prisoners, NSW Corrections<br />

Health Service, 2003, Sydney. Butler and Allnut used a broad def<strong>in</strong>ition cover<strong>in</strong>g many <strong>of</strong> the<br />

disorders identified <strong>in</strong> the American Psychiatric Association’s, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual<br />

<strong>of</strong> Mental Disorders, Fourth Ed, Text Revision (DSM-IV), 2000, American Psychiatric Association,<br />

Wash<strong>in</strong>gton DC, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g: psychosis, anxiety disorder, affective disorder, substance use disorder,<br />

personality disorder, and neurasthenia.<br />

13 Butler et al, op cit n 11 at 273.<br />

14 <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Law Reform <strong>Commission</strong>, Report 80: People with an Intellectual Disability and<br />

the Crim<strong>in</strong>al Justice System, 1996, <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Law Reform <strong>Commission</strong>, Sydney, 25–32.<br />

15 Substance abuse can itself become a mental disorder (substance abuse disorder) or lead to other<br />

mental disorders (for example, drug-<strong>in</strong>duced psychosis or Korsak<strong>of</strong>f’s syndrome). For <strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion<br />

on the high rates <strong>of</strong> co-morbidity between substance abuse disorder and other mental disorders,<br />

based on the first National Survey <strong>of</strong> Mental Health and Wellbe<strong>in</strong>g, see: G Andrews, W Hall,<br />

M Teesson and S Henderson, The Mental Health <strong>of</strong> Australians, 1999, Commonwealth<br />

Department <strong>of</strong> Health and Aged Care, Canberra, p 21 and s 7.<br />

16 Legislative Council Select Committee on Mental Health, Mental Health Services <strong>in</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong><br />

<strong>Wales</strong>: F<strong>in</strong>al Report, 2002, NSW Parliament (Legislative Council), Sydney, pp xv and 139. Cf<br />

ss 105(b) and (g) <strong>of</strong> the recently commenced Mental Health Act 2007, which states that the<br />

objectives <strong>of</strong> the NSW public health system <strong>in</strong>clude, respectively: “promot[<strong>in</strong>g] the establishment<br />

<strong>of</strong> community mental health services” and “assist<strong>in</strong>g patients to live <strong>in</strong> the community …”.<br />

The trend noted by the Select Committee is widespread. For <strong>in</strong>stance, it was noted by the<br />

Adm<strong>in</strong>istrator <strong>of</strong> the Tasmanian Magistrates Courts as be<strong>in</strong>g the catalyst for Tasmania’s adoption<br />

<strong>of</strong> a mental health diversion and treatment scheme: J Connolly, “Mental Health Diversion List:<br />

Magistrates Court (Hobart)” available at: , accessed 24/8/07.<br />

3


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Number and nature <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) orders imposed<br />

In the Local Court <strong>in</strong> 2004–2006 there were, respectively, 202,681, 204,735 and<br />

270,995 crim<strong>in</strong>al matters f<strong>in</strong>alised. 17 Table 1 details the number <strong>of</strong> people from<br />

these matters who were diverted from the crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system by way <strong>of</strong> s 32(3).<br />

While “crim<strong>in</strong>al matters f<strong>in</strong>alised” and “number <strong>of</strong> people diverted” are not exact<br />

equivalents — as one person may be the subject <strong>of</strong> numerous crim<strong>in</strong>al matters<br />

— the comparison suggests that the number <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) orders made is, <strong>in</strong> relative<br />

terms, small. This likely reflects the concerns expressed by magistrates about the<br />

operation <strong>of</strong> s 32, as well as s 32 apply<strong>in</strong>g only to a targeted sub-group <strong>of</strong> people<br />

appear<strong>in</strong>g before the court.<br />

Table 1: Persons discharged by way <strong>of</strong> a s 32(3) * order, 2004–2006<br />

Outcome<br />

Year s 32(3)(a) ††<br />

discharged<br />

<strong>in</strong>to care <strong>of</strong> a<br />

responsible<br />

person<br />

unconditionally<br />

s 32(3)(a) ††<br />

discharged<br />

<strong>in</strong>to care <strong>of</strong> a<br />

responsible<br />

person<br />

conditionally<br />

s 32(3)(b)<br />

discharged<br />

for<br />

assessment/<br />

treatment<br />

s 32(3)(c)<br />

discharged<br />

unconditionally<br />

Total<br />

2004 † 4 385 153 176 718<br />

2005 28 548 281 163 1020<br />

2006 21 570 225 157 973<br />

Total 53 1503 659 496 2711<br />

* There is no record <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>terlocutory orders made under s 32(2).<br />

† Regard<strong>in</strong>g 2004, only figures for April–December are available.<br />

†† Section 32(3)(a) is expressed <strong>in</strong> terms <strong>of</strong> an alternative (“unconditionally or subject to conditions”)<br />

and this is reflected <strong>in</strong> the use <strong>of</strong> two columns for s 32(3)(a) discharges.<br />

Table 1 reveals that:<br />

20% <strong>of</strong> persons who were the subject <strong>of</strong> a s 32(3) order were discharged<br />

unconditionally under ss 32(3)(a) or 32(3)(c);<br />

Conditional discharges <strong>in</strong>volv<strong>in</strong>g an assessment and/or treatment were ordered<br />

for 24% <strong>of</strong> persons discharged under s 32(3); and<br />

55% <strong>of</strong> persons discharged by way <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) were discharged conditionally <strong>in</strong>to<br />

the care <strong>of</strong> a responsible person.<br />

17 Office <strong>of</strong> the Chief Magistrate, Local Court <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Annual Review 2004, 2004,<br />

Sydney, p 10; Office <strong>of</strong> the Chief Magistrate, Local Court <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Annual Review<br />

2005, 2005, Sydney, p 9; Office <strong>of</strong> the Chief Magistrate, Local Court <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Annual<br />

Review 2006, 2006, Sydney, p 17.<br />

4


Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

There is no record <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>terlocutory orders made under s 32(2), nor is there any record<br />

<strong>of</strong> the length <strong>of</strong> the orders made under s 32(3). 18 As our discussion <strong>of</strong> Mantell v<br />

Molyneux 19 suggests, data on both these measures would illum<strong>in</strong>ate areas <strong>of</strong> current<br />

uncerta<strong>in</strong>ty.<br />

Nature <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fences committed<br />

Section 32 applies to summary <strong>of</strong>fences and <strong>in</strong>dictable <strong>of</strong>fences triable summarily.<br />

Table 2 shows the types <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fences persons subject to s 32(3) orders were charged<br />

with, us<strong>in</strong>g the generic <strong>of</strong>fence classification scheme known as ASOC (Australian<br />

Standard Offence Classification).<br />

The strik<strong>in</strong>g feature <strong>of</strong> Table 2 is the wide range <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fences attract<strong>in</strong>g s 32 orders. The<br />

five largest categories, compris<strong>in</strong>g 75% <strong>of</strong> all counts attract<strong>in</strong>g s 32 orders, were:<br />

acts <strong>in</strong>tend<strong>in</strong>g to cause <strong>in</strong>jury, such as assault (23%)<br />

<strong>of</strong>fences aga<strong>in</strong>st justice procedures etc (16%)<br />

theft and related <strong>of</strong>fences (14%)<br />

public order <strong>of</strong>fences (12%), and<br />

property damage and environmental pollution (10%).<br />

Magistrates were questioned about the types <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fences for which they have<br />

decl<strong>in</strong>ed to issue s 32 orders. The majority <strong>in</strong>dicated that they were reluctant to<br />

issue s 32 orders when the accused was charged with traffic <strong>of</strong>fences due to the<br />

need to disqualify defendants’ licences <strong>in</strong> cases where their driv<strong>in</strong>g posed a risk to<br />

the community. A conviction must be recorded before the disqualification provisions<br />

are enlivened. Police v Deng 20 is a relatively rare example. After grant<strong>in</strong>g a s 32<br />

application to a learner driver suffer<strong>in</strong>g from post-traumatic stress disorder, the<br />

magistrate made a “recommendation” to the Roads and Traffic Authority that any<br />

exist<strong>in</strong>g learner’s permit be cancelled on medical grounds and that the applicant not<br />

be reissued with any learner’s permit for at least three years.<br />

18 Correspondence from the NSW Bureau <strong>of</strong> Crime Statistics and Research dated 16/10/2007 and<br />

21/11/2007. Section 32(2) is discussed below under the head<strong>in</strong>g “Interlocutory orders under s 32(2) and<br />

the duration <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) orders” pp 14–16.<br />

19 (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955; discussed under the head<strong>in</strong>g “Interlocutory orders<br />

under s 32(2) and the duration <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) orders”, pp 14–16.<br />

20 [2008] NSWLC 2. Available at , accessed 6/3/08.<br />

5


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Table 2: Type <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fences (ASOC) * category dealt with by s 32 orders, by number <strong>of</strong> counts, 2004–2006<br />

Outcome<br />

Category s 32(3)(a)<br />

discharged <strong>in</strong>to care <strong>of</strong><br />

a responsible person<br />

unconditionally<br />

s 32(3)(a)<br />

discharged <strong>in</strong>to care <strong>of</strong><br />

a responsible person<br />

conditionally<br />

s 32(3)(b)<br />

discharged for<br />

assessment /<br />

treatment<br />

s 32(3)(c)<br />

discharged<br />

unconditionally<br />

Total<br />

2004–2006<br />

Year 04 † 05 06 T 04 † 05 06 T 04 † 05 06 T 04 † 05 06 T 04 † 05 06 T<br />

Acts <strong>in</strong>tended<br />

to cause <strong>in</strong>jury<br />

4 8 8 20 181 309 328 818 80 138 139 357 97 65 65 227 362 520 540 1422<br />

Sexual assault<br />

& related<br />

<strong>of</strong>fences<br />

0 0 0 0 12 5 10 27 1 4 6 11 4 0 1 5 17 9 17 43<br />

Dangerous &<br />

negligent acts<br />

endanger<strong>in</strong>g<br />

persons<br />

0 1 0 1 9 16 26 51 7 13 10 30 12 5 5 22 28 35 41 104<br />

Robbery,<br />

extortion<br />

& related<br />

<strong>of</strong>fences<br />

0 0 0 0 3 1 2 6 0 0 2 2 1 0 1 2 4 1 5 10<br />

Unlawful entry<br />

with <strong>in</strong>tent/<br />

burglary, break<br />

& enter<br />

0 0 0 0 19 39 31 89 10 18 9 37 8 6 2 16 37 63 42 142<br />

Theft & related<br />

<strong>of</strong>fences<br />

2 11 8 21 144 155 159 458 65 98 58 221 61 46 46 153 272 310 271 853<br />

6


Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

Deception<br />

& related<br />

<strong>of</strong>fences<br />

0 4 4 8 26 32 32 90 16 20 26 62 7 16 13 36 49 72 75 196<br />

Illicit drug<br />

<strong>of</strong>fences<br />

0 1 0 1 33 39 31 103 9 11 14 34 12 15 9 36 54 66 54 174<br />

Weapons &<br />

explosives<br />

<strong>of</strong>fensives<br />

0 3 4 7 24 18 14 56 5 6 6 17 1 1 4 6 30 28 28 86<br />

Property<br />

damage &<br />

environmental<br />

pollution<br />

0 4 6 10 95 127 140 362 32 56 38 126 33 33 35 101 160 220 219 599<br />

Public order<br />

<strong>of</strong>fences<br />

3 7 3 13 101 155 164 420 26 66 55 147 53 52 60 165 183 280 282 745<br />

Road traffic &<br />

motor vehicle<br />

regulatory<br />

<strong>of</strong>fences<br />

0 9 5 14 53 74 103 230 26 47 34 107 31 31 39 101 110 161 181 452<br />

Offences<br />

aga<strong>in</strong>st justice<br />

procedures &<br />

government<br />

security &<br />

operations<br />

2 6 5 13 154 181 230 565 55 121 82 258 62 48 55 165 273 356 372 1001<br />

Miscellaneous<br />

<strong>of</strong>fences<br />

0 4 1 5 37 71 80 188 18 36 12 66 18 14 19 51 73 125 112 310<br />

Total 11 58 44 113 891 1222 1350 3463 350 634 491 1475 400 332 354 1086 1652 2246 2239 6137<br />

* Australian Standard Offence Classification<br />

† Regard<strong>in</strong>g 2004, only figures for April–December are available.<br />

7


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

The statutory scheme <strong>in</strong> a national and <strong>in</strong>ternational context<br />

Across Australia and overseas, courts <strong>of</strong> summary jurisdiction have attempted to<br />

address <strong>of</strong>fenders’ underly<strong>in</strong>g mental health issues <strong>in</strong> a variety <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>novative ways.<br />

For example, there are comparable <strong>in</strong>itiatives at the Commonwealth level 21 and<br />

<strong>in</strong> Victoria, 22 Queensland, 23 <strong>South</strong> Australia, 24 Tasmania, 25 England 26 and parts <strong>of</strong><br />

the United States. 27 Through a process <strong>of</strong> “pragmatic <strong>in</strong>crementalism” 28 courts <strong>of</strong><br />

summary jurisdiction have been early adopters <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>itiatives designed to address<br />

21 Where a mentally disordered accused is charged with a Commonwealth <strong>of</strong>fence, s 20BQ <strong>of</strong><br />

the Crimes Act 1914 provides State courts <strong>of</strong> summary jurisdiction with powers similar to s 32.<br />

Indeed, <strong>in</strong> one respect, the power exceeds that <strong>of</strong> s 32 because ss 20BQ(1)(c)(i) and 20BQ(1)(c)(ii)<br />

enables the court to make care and treatment orders for up to three years.<br />

22 In Victoria the Magistrates’ Court’s Mental Health Court Liaison Service “divert[s] <strong>of</strong>fenders<br />

with a mental illness from the crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system <strong>in</strong>to appropriate mental health treatment<br />

services”, available at p 18: , accessed 16/11/2007;<br />

while the Enforcement Review Program allows applications for revocations <strong>of</strong> f<strong>in</strong>es <strong>in</strong> “special<br />

circumstances”, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g mental disorder: J Popovic, “Mean<strong>in</strong>gless vs Mean<strong>in</strong>gful Sentences:<br />

Sentenc<strong>in</strong>g the Unsentenceable”, paper presented at the Sentenc<strong>in</strong>g: Pr<strong>in</strong>ciples, Perspectives<br />

and Possibilities conference, 10–12 February 2006, Canberra, p 12: , accessed 16/11/2007.<br />

23 In Queensland, the Brisbane Magistrates’ Court has established a special circumstances list<br />

aimed at provid<strong>in</strong>g court-authorised treatment for mentally disordered people charged with public<br />

order <strong>of</strong>fences: T Walsh, “The Queensland Special Circumstances Court” (2007) 16 Journal <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Judicial</strong> Adm<strong>in</strong>istration 223 at 224.<br />

24 In <strong>South</strong> Australia, the Magistrates’ Court Diversion Program is designed to divert and treat<br />

<strong>in</strong>dividuals with mental disorder <strong>in</strong> order to address the l<strong>in</strong>k between their mental disorder and<br />

their <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g, available at: , accessed 12/11/2007; G Skrzypiec, J Wundersitz, and H McRostie, Magistrates Court<br />

Diversion Program: An Analysis <strong>of</strong> Post-Program Offend<strong>in</strong>g, 2004, Office <strong>of</strong> Crime Statistics and<br />

Research, Adelaide; s 19C Crim<strong>in</strong>al Law (Sentenc<strong>in</strong>g) Act 1988 (SA).<br />

25 In Tasmania, the Mental Health Diversion List Program provides an opportunity for eligible<br />

accused to voluntarily address their mental health and/or disability needs. The court reviews<br />

the treatment plan each month: Magistrates Court <strong>of</strong> Tasmania, Mental Health Diversion List<br />

Procedural Manual, 2007, Hobart, pp 3 and 10, available at: , accessed 4/11/07.<br />

26 The Heterforshire Panel Assessment Scheme and the Bow and Marlborough Streets Magistrates’<br />

Courts’ Psychiatric Assessment Schemes identify mental disorder at the earliest possible opportunities<br />

and enable magistrates to make <strong>in</strong>formed therapeutic disposals: J La<strong>in</strong>g, Care or Custody? Mentally<br />

Disordered Offenders <strong>in</strong> the Crim<strong>in</strong>al Justice System, 1999, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp<br />

163–166. A review by the Home Office Research and Plann<strong>in</strong>g Unit <strong>in</strong> 1993 found that the scheme<br />

successfully diverted mentally disordered <strong>of</strong>fenders from the crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system.<br />

27 There are 25–30 specialist Mental Health Courts and numerous court diversion programs <strong>in</strong><br />

the United States, with no one uniform model and numerous variations on the theme. The Law<br />

Enforcement and Mental Health Project Act 2000 makes federal funds available to local jurisdictions<br />

seek<strong>in</strong>g to establish or expand mental health courts and diversion programs. With “approximately a<br />

quarter million <strong>in</strong>dividuals with severe mental illness … <strong>in</strong>carcerated at any moment”, that appears to<br />

us to be a timely <strong>in</strong>itiative: R Bernste<strong>in</strong> and T Seltzer, “Crim<strong>in</strong>alization <strong>of</strong> People with Mental Illnesses:<br />

The Role <strong>of</strong> Mental Health Courts <strong>in</strong> System Reform” (2003) 7 UDCL Rev 143 ff.<br />

28 M K<strong>in</strong>g and K Auty, “Therapeutic Jurisprudence: An Emerg<strong>in</strong>g Trend <strong>in</strong> Courts <strong>of</strong> Summary<br />

Jurisdiction” (2005) 30(2) Alt LJ 69.<br />

8


Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

<strong>of</strong>fenders’ underly<strong>in</strong>g problems. 29 Generally speak<strong>in</strong>g, magistrates have been will<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to embrace <strong>in</strong>novation, 30 probably <strong>in</strong> large part due to their judicial view <strong>of</strong> social<br />

issues be<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>in</strong> relative terms, both the most immediate and broadest. After all, for<br />

2004–2005, magistrates’ courts across Australia accounted for 96% <strong>of</strong> all lodgments<br />

<strong>in</strong> the crim<strong>in</strong>al courts. 31 The Local Court, which has sometimes been described as<br />

the “people’s court”, 32 is thus ideally placed for tackl<strong>in</strong>g grassroots problems at a<br />

grassroots level.<br />

The statutory history <strong>of</strong> s 32<br />

Section 32 was previously found <strong>in</strong> s 428M <strong>of</strong> the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). Section<br />

428M was <strong>in</strong>serted <strong>in</strong> 1983 and later repealed and re-enacted <strong>in</strong> the Mental Health<br />

(Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act, which commenced on 3 September 1990. 33 The Mental<br />

Health Act 1990 34 was passed at the same time. In the Second Read<strong>in</strong>g Speech, 35<br />

the M<strong>in</strong>ister for Health referred to the new mental health legislation <strong>in</strong> terms <strong>of</strong><br />

progress<strong>in</strong>g from a “tragic state” 36 <strong>of</strong> mental health services towards provid<strong>in</strong>g<br />

effective treatment to mentally ill persons and protect<strong>in</strong>g the public from those<br />

mentally ill persons who pose a danger.<br />

In relation to s 32, it was noted by the M<strong>in</strong>ister for Justice <strong>in</strong> the Second Read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Speech for the Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Amendment Act 2005 that:<br />

“[T]he Magistrate has the power to divert the defendant away from be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

dealt with at law and be<strong>in</strong>g subject to a punishment. The purpose <strong>of</strong> s 32<br />

29 For an overview <strong>of</strong> Victorian <strong>in</strong>itiatives, see J Popovic, op cit n 22; for an overview <strong>of</strong> Western<br />

Australian <strong>in</strong>itiatives, see M K<strong>in</strong>g, “Problem-Solv<strong>in</strong>g Court Programs <strong>in</strong> Western Australia”,<br />

paper presented at the Sentenc<strong>in</strong>g: Pr<strong>in</strong>ciples, Perspectives and Possibilities conference,<br />

10–12 February 2006, Canberra, available at: , accessed<br />

16/10/2007.<br />

30 S Roach Anleu and K Mack, “Australian Magistrates, Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Social<br />

Change” <strong>in</strong> Transform<strong>in</strong>g Legal Processes <strong>in</strong> Court and Beyond: A Collection <strong>of</strong> Refereed Papers<br />

from the 3rd International Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence, 7–9 June 2006, Perth,<br />

2007, Australasian Institute <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong> Adm<strong>in</strong>istration, Melbourne, p 173.<br />

31 Australian Crime: Facts and Figures, 2006, Australian Institute <strong>of</strong> Crim<strong>in</strong>ology, Canberra, p 73,<br />

available at: ,<br />

accessed 25/1/2008. Lodgments are def<strong>in</strong>ed as the <strong>in</strong>itiation <strong>of</strong> the matter with the courts.<br />

32 The Honourable M K<strong>in</strong>g, “Afterword” (2006) Murdoch University Electronic Journal <strong>of</strong> Law, Special<br />

Series: The Therapeutic Role <strong>of</strong> Magistrates’ Courts 1 at 160, available at: , accessed 25/1/2008.<br />

33 Section 2 and GG No 82 <strong>of</strong> 29/6/1990, p 5398.<br />

34 Date <strong>of</strong> commencement, 3 September 1990, s 2 and GG No 82 <strong>of</strong> 29/6/1990, p 5397.<br />

35 The Honourable P Coll<strong>in</strong>s, M<strong>in</strong>ister for Health and M<strong>in</strong>ister for Arts, Second Read<strong>in</strong>g Speech,<br />

“Mental Health Bill, Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Bill and Miscellaneous Acts (Mental Health)<br />

Repeal and Amendment Bill”, <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), Legislative<br />

Assembly, 22/3/1990, p 884.<br />

36 ibid, p 885.<br />

9


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong> the Act is to allow defendants with a mental condition, a mental<br />

illness or a developmental disability to be dealt with <strong>in</strong> an appropriate<br />

treatment and rehabilitative context enforced by the court”. 37<br />

Section 32 and its predecessor, s 428M, were drafted aga<strong>in</strong>st the background <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Inquiry <strong>in</strong>to Health Services for the Psychiatrically Ill and Developmentally Disabled<br />

(the Richmond Report). 38 The Richmond Report recommended that, where medically<br />

appropriate, people requir<strong>in</strong>g mental health services should receive them <strong>in</strong> a<br />

decentralised environment. 39 It emphasised the importance <strong>of</strong> protect<strong>in</strong>g the rights<br />

and maximis<strong>in</strong>g the personal development <strong>of</strong> mentally disordered persons. This<br />

approach was reflected <strong>in</strong> ss 4(2)(a) and (b) <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health Act 1990 40 — which<br />

the courts recognised as be<strong>in</strong>g a proper and relevant aid <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>terpret<strong>in</strong>g provisions <strong>in</strong><br />

the Act 41 — and <strong>in</strong> s 68 <strong>of</strong> the recently commenced Mental Health Act 2007. 42 These<br />

considerations are <strong>of</strong> such fundamental importance that they are recognised as<br />

human rights at <strong>in</strong>ternational law. 43<br />

37 The Honourable T Kelly, M<strong>in</strong>ister for Justice, M<strong>in</strong>ister for Juvenile Justice, M<strong>in</strong>ister for Emergency<br />

Services, M<strong>in</strong>ister for Lands and M<strong>in</strong>ister for Rural Affairs, “Second Read<strong>in</strong>g Speech: Mental<br />

Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Amendment Bill”, Hansard, Legislative Council, 29/11/2005,<br />

p 20085 at p 20087.<br />

38 Richmond Report: Inquiry <strong>in</strong>to Health Services for the Psychiatrically Ill and Developmentally<br />

Disabled (Vols 1–6), 1983, NSW Department <strong>of</strong> Health, Sydney.<br />

39 ibid, (Vol 3), 23.<br />

40 Section 4(2) provides:<br />

“It is the <strong>in</strong>tention <strong>of</strong> Parliament that … every function, discretion and jurisdiction conferred or<br />

imposed by this Act is, as far as practicable, to be performed or exercised so that:<br />

(a) persons who are mentally ill or who are mentally disordered receive the best possible care<br />

and treatment <strong>in</strong> the least restrictive environment enabl<strong>in</strong>g the care and treatment to be<br />

effectively given, and<br />

(b) <strong>in</strong> provid<strong>in</strong>g for the care and treatment <strong>of</strong> persons who are mentally ill or who are mentally<br />

disordered, any restriction on the liberty <strong>of</strong> patients and other persons who are mentally ill<br />

or mentally disordered and any <strong>in</strong>terference with their rights, dignity and self-respect are<br />

kept to the m<strong>in</strong>imum necessary <strong>in</strong> the circumstances.”<br />

41 In Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v El Mawas (2006) 66 NSWLR 93; [2006] NSWCA 154 at [56]<br />

McColl JA cited Wood CJ at CL <strong>in</strong> R v Mailes (2001) 53 NSWLR 251; [2001] NSWCCA 155 at<br />

[108] (Spigelman CJ and James J agree<strong>in</strong>g), where his Honour observed that it was “proper to<br />

have regard to both the Mental Health Act 1990 and the [Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure)] Act<br />

for the purpose <strong>of</strong> constru<strong>in</strong>g expressions used <strong>in</strong> either <strong>of</strong> them because they formed part <strong>of</strong> a<br />

scheme <strong>of</strong> legislation, were <strong>in</strong>troduced together and assented to on the same day.”<br />

42 Section 68 states that people with a mental illness or mental disorder:<br />

should receive the best possible care and treatment <strong>in</strong> the least restrictive environment possible;<br />

should be provided with timely and high quality treatment and care;<br />

should be treated so that, wherever possible, they live, work and participate <strong>in</strong> the<br />

community; and<br />

should have any restrictions on their liberty or <strong>in</strong>terference with their rights, dignity and selfrespect<br />

kept to a m<strong>in</strong>imum.<br />

43 See: Articles 1 and 10 <strong>of</strong> the Universal Declaration <strong>of</strong> Human Rights, available at: , accessed 25/1/2008; Article 12 <strong>of</strong> the International Covenant on<br />

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, available at: , accessed 25/1/2008; and Pr<strong>in</strong>ciple 9 <strong>of</strong> the Pr<strong>in</strong>ciples for the Protection <strong>of</strong> Persons with<br />

Mental Illness and the Improvement <strong>of</strong> Mental Health Care, available at: , accessed 25/1/2008.<br />

10


Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

The current statutory scheme<br />

Section 32 44 applies to crim<strong>in</strong>al proceed<strong>in</strong>gs (<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g bail proceed<strong>in</strong>gs) before a<br />

magistrate for summary <strong>of</strong>fences or <strong>in</strong>dictable <strong>of</strong>fences triable summarily. 45<br />

Section 32 orders are diversionary. There is no f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g as to guilt or <strong>in</strong>nocence<br />

— and hence no conviction. A decision under s 32 to dismiss charges aga<strong>in</strong>st a<br />

defendant does not constitute a f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g that the charges aga<strong>in</strong>st the defendant<br />

are proven or otherwise. 46 The section was extended <strong>in</strong> 2005 to apply to the time<br />

<strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fence or to the time <strong>of</strong> the proceed<strong>in</strong>gs, or both. 47 The M<strong>in</strong>ister <strong>in</strong> the<br />

Second Read<strong>in</strong>g Speech observed that the section can apply to defendants “even<br />

though they might have recovered by the time <strong>of</strong> appear<strong>in</strong>g before the court.” 48 The<br />

reason<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong>fered by the M<strong>in</strong>ister was that, for s 32 not to apply at the time <strong>of</strong> the<br />

alleged <strong>of</strong>fence was <strong>in</strong>consistent with Pt 4 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure)<br />

Act, which concerns the defence <strong>of</strong> mental illness.<br />

Exercis<strong>in</strong>g the s 32 discretion<br />

The discretion to make an order under s 32 arises if two preconditions are met; or as<br />

Spigelman CJ described it <strong>in</strong> Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v El Mawas, 49 there is a<br />

“two-fold test”. 50 First, at the commencement or dur<strong>in</strong>g the course <strong>of</strong> the proceed<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

it must appear to a magistrate that a defendant is or was at the time <strong>of</strong> the alleged<br />

commission <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fence:<br />

developmentally disabled 51<br />

suffer<strong>in</strong>g from a mental illness, 52 or<br />

suffer<strong>in</strong>g from a mental condition for which treatment is available <strong>in</strong> a mental<br />

health care facility, 53<br />

but is not mentally ill with<strong>in</strong> the terms <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health Act 2007 (that is, not<br />

44 Section 32 has been amended by the Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2002 No 130 Sch 9[1]–[3];<br />

Crimes Legislation Further Amendment Act 2003 No 85 Sch 7; Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure)<br />

Amendment Act 2005 No 109 Sch 1[17]–[18]; and the Mental Health Act 2007 Sch 7.7 [14]–[16].<br />

The current text <strong>of</strong> ss 32 and 32A appears at Appendix 1.<br />

45 Exclud<strong>in</strong>g committal proceed<strong>in</strong>gs: s 31 Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act 1990.<br />

46 Section 32(4).<br />

47 Orig<strong>in</strong>ally, s 32 required a magistrate to consider the state <strong>of</strong> m<strong>in</strong>d <strong>of</strong> the accused only at the time they<br />

appeared before the court. This was <strong>in</strong>consistent with the way Pt 4 <strong>of</strong> the Act applied to the defence<br />

<strong>of</strong> mental illness. It was specifically amended to extend its operation to cover circumstances where a<br />

person was mentally disordered when they committed the <strong>of</strong>fence but, due to treatment or the nature<br />

<strong>of</strong> their affliction, was not present<strong>in</strong>g with any mental disorder before the court: L Babb, “<strong>New</strong> Mental<br />

Health Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedures <strong>in</strong> 2006”, NSW Young Lawyers, Cont<strong>in</strong>u<strong>in</strong>g Legal Education Sem<strong>in</strong>ar,<br />

“Recent Developments <strong>in</strong> Mental Health Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedures”, 10/5/2006, Sydney.<br />

48 The Honourable T Kelly, op cit n 37; see also, L Babb, ibid, p 4.<br />

49 (2006) 66 NSWLR 93; [2006] NSWCA 154.<br />

50 ibid at [3].<br />

51 Section 32(1)(a)(i).<br />

52 Section 32(1)(a)(ii).<br />

53 Section 32(1)(a)(iii).<br />

11


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

suffer<strong>in</strong>g from a serious impairment <strong>of</strong> mental function<strong>in</strong>g and not pos<strong>in</strong>g a risk <strong>of</strong><br />

serious harm to themself or others). 54<br />

Second, s 32(1)(b) provides that on an outl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>of</strong> the facts alleged <strong>in</strong> the proceed<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

or such other evidence as the magistrate may consider relevant, it must appear<br />

to the magistrate that it would be more appropriate to deal with the defendant <strong>in</strong><br />

accordance with s 32 than otherwise <strong>in</strong> accordance with law. 55<br />

Spigelman CJ said <strong>in</strong> El Mawas 56 that s 32(1)(b) confers “a very wide discretion”.<br />

McColl JA <strong>in</strong> a separate judgment said: 57<br />

“… [the] decision clearly calls for the exercise <strong>of</strong> subjectivity or value<br />

judgments <strong>in</strong> which ‘… “no one [consideration] and no comb<strong>in</strong>ation <strong>of</strong><br />

[considerations] is necessarily determ<strong>in</strong>ative <strong>of</strong> the result”’: Coal and<br />

Allied Operations Pty Ltd v Australian Industrial Relations <strong>Commission</strong><br />

[2000] HCA 47 at [19]. In my view, as Howie J concluded <strong>in</strong> Confos, it<br />

<strong>in</strong>volves a discretionary decision <strong>in</strong> which the magistrate is permitted<br />

latitude as to the decision which might be made, a latitude conf<strong>in</strong>ed only<br />

by the subject matter and object <strong>of</strong> the Act.”<br />

Given it is a discretionary decision upon which reasonable m<strong>in</strong>ds may differ, the<br />

correctness <strong>of</strong> the decision can only be challenged on appeal by show<strong>in</strong>g error <strong>in</strong><br />

the decision-mak<strong>in</strong>g process <strong>of</strong> the k<strong>in</strong>d referred to <strong>in</strong> House v The K<strong>in</strong>g. 58<br />

The breadth <strong>of</strong> the s 32 discretion is also evidenced by the “<strong>in</strong>quisitorial powers”<br />

conferred on magistrates by s 36, which provides that the magistrate “may <strong>in</strong>form<br />

himself or herself as the Magistrate th<strong>in</strong>ks fit, but not so as to require a defendant<br />

to <strong>in</strong>crim<strong>in</strong>ate himself or herself.” 59 When apply<strong>in</strong>g s 32, a magistrate is required to<br />

consider and choose between the public <strong>in</strong>terests <strong>of</strong>:<br />

ensur<strong>in</strong>g that all <strong>of</strong>fenders encounter the full weight <strong>of</strong> the crim<strong>in</strong>al law, and<br />

54 In particular, ss 4 and 14. A serious impairment <strong>of</strong> mental function<strong>in</strong>g is characterised by:<br />

(a) delusions, (b) halluc<strong>in</strong>ations, (c) serious thought disorder (d) a severe disturbance <strong>of</strong> mood, and<br />

(e) susta<strong>in</strong>ed irrational behaviour <strong>in</strong>dicat<strong>in</strong>g any or all <strong>of</strong> symptoms (a)–(d): s 4. If the defendant<br />

falls with<strong>in</strong> the purview <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health Act, s 33 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure)<br />

Act 1990 applies. See also n 113–115 and accompany<strong>in</strong>g text.<br />

55 Section 32(1)(b).<br />

56 Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v El Mawas (2006) 66 NSWLR 93; [2006] NSWCA 154 at [4].<br />

57 ibid at [76].<br />

58 ibid at [67]. In House v The K<strong>in</strong>g (1936) 55 CLR 499 at 504–505 Dixon, Evatt and McTiernan JJ<br />

describe patent error as follows: “If the judge acts upon a wrong pr<strong>in</strong>ciple, if he allows extraneous<br />

or irrelevant matters to guide or affect him, if he mistakes the facts, if he does not take <strong>in</strong>to<br />

account some material consideration, then his determ<strong>in</strong>ation should be reviewed and the<br />

appellate court may exercise its own discretion <strong>in</strong> substitution for his if it has the materials for<br />

do<strong>in</strong>g so.” Where these errors are not discoverable, a discretionary order can also be set aside if it<br />

is “pla<strong>in</strong>ly unjust”: House at p 505.<br />

59 Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v El Mawas (2006) 66 NSWLR 93; [2006] NSWCA 154, per<br />

McColl JA at [74].<br />

12


Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

treat<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered <strong>of</strong>fenders, so that they no longer pose a threat to<br />

the community. 60<br />

Spigelman CJ’s two-fold approach to the discretion conferred <strong>in</strong> s 32 concerned<br />

the <strong>in</strong>itial steps (eligibility and appropriateness) referred to <strong>in</strong> ss 32(1)(a) and (b). The<br />

magistrate is then required to turn to ss 32(2) and (3) and consider the terms <strong>of</strong> the<br />

order (outcome).<br />

Overall, core decisions concern<strong>in</strong>g eligibility, appropriateness and outcome are<br />

required: 61<br />

Eligibility: A jurisdictional decision, as a f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> fact, whether a defendant is<br />

eligible to be dealt with under s 32(1)(a).<br />

Appropriateness: A discretionary decision under s 32(1)(b) as to whether, hav<strong>in</strong>g<br />

regard to the facts and other evidence, (<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g evidence obta<strong>in</strong>ed by the<br />

magistrate under s 36), it would be “more appropriate” to deal with the defendant<br />

<strong>in</strong> accordance with s 32, rather than otherwise <strong>in</strong> accordance with law.<br />

Outcome: Another discretionary decision, this time as to which <strong>of</strong> the actions set<br />

out <strong>in</strong> ss 32(2) and (3) should be taken.<br />

Matters relevantly taken <strong>in</strong>to account under s 32(1)(b)<br />

Several matters have been identified <strong>in</strong> the case law as be<strong>in</strong>g relevant to the<br />

exercise <strong>of</strong> the s 32(1)(b) discretion:<br />

The seriousness <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fence(s)<br />

The Court <strong>of</strong> Appeal <strong>in</strong> El Mawas held that the discretionary judgment required<br />

under s 32 cannot be exercised properly without due regard to the seriousness <strong>of</strong><br />

the alleged <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g conduct. 62 The judge <strong>of</strong> the Supreme Court who had heard the<br />

first stage <strong>of</strong> the appeal had erred <strong>in</strong> suggest<strong>in</strong>g otherwise. 63 The seriousness <strong>of</strong> the<br />

<strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g conduct <strong>in</strong>cludes the alleged facts <strong>of</strong> the case or conduct for which the<br />

defendant is before the court. 64<br />

That seriousness <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g is a valid and necessary limit<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>fluence on the<br />

exercise <strong>of</strong> the s 32 discretion may to some extent address the concerns <strong>of</strong><br />

magistrates, discussed below, about the <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g breadth <strong>of</strong> the summary<br />

jurisdiction, the broad and nuanced nature <strong>of</strong> mental disorders, and the paucity <strong>of</strong><br />

breach notifications.<br />

60 ibid at [71]. In this respect, note McColl JA’s comment that “adopt<strong>in</strong>g the diversionary route does<br />

not mean that a defendant is not exposed to punishment”: ibid at [73], followed <strong>in</strong> Police v Deng<br />

[2008] NSWLC 2 at 10.<br />

61 ibid at [75]–[80].<br />

62 ibid at [77].<br />

63 In El Mawas v Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions [2005] NSWSC 243 Greg James J said that, <strong>in</strong><br />

Confos v Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions [2004] NSWSC 1159, Howie J underm<strong>in</strong>ed the s 32<br />

discretion by emphasis<strong>in</strong>g the need to consider the seriousness <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fence.<br />

64 Confos v Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions [2004] NSWSC 1159 at [17].<br />

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<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Six-month enforceability limit <strong>of</strong> orders<br />

In Mantell v Molyneux the court held that the magistrate did not err by tak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to<br />

account the six-month enforceability limit <strong>of</strong> orders that can be made under<br />

s 32(3). 65 Nor was there any error <strong>in</strong> tak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to account <strong>in</strong> the exercise <strong>of</strong> the<br />

s 32 discretion the likely sentenc<strong>in</strong>g outcomes <strong>in</strong> the event <strong>of</strong> conviction. 66 The<br />

magistrate was entitled to be concerned about what he termed the “six month<br />

bandaid” nature <strong>of</strong> s 32, especially <strong>in</strong> regards to the appellant, whose record clearly<br />

showed that longer bonds were more effective than shorter s 32 orders.<br />

Existence and content <strong>of</strong> treatment plan<br />

Spigelman CJ said 67 <strong>in</strong> El Mawas that the “existence and content <strong>of</strong> the treatment<br />

plan” is a “relevant consideration” for magistrates to take <strong>in</strong>to account when<br />

exercis<strong>in</strong>g the s 32 discretion. The extent <strong>of</strong> its relevance is a matter to be<br />

determ<strong>in</strong>ed by the magistrate. Spigelman CJ said that the magistrate was:<br />

“entitled to reject the proposition that the proposed course <strong>of</strong> treatment<br />

should receive significant weight <strong>in</strong> formulat<strong>in</strong>g the judgment for which<br />

s 32(1)(b) calls”. 68<br />

Interlocutory orders under s 32(2) and the duration <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) orders<br />

Once the court has decided to exercise the s 32 discretion <strong>in</strong> favour <strong>of</strong> the<br />

defendant, it can make <strong>in</strong>terlocutory orders under s 32(2) and f<strong>in</strong>al orders under<br />

s 32(3). The power to make <strong>in</strong>terlocutory orders is only enlivened “… when the<br />

magistrate has made the decision required by s 32(1)(b)”, 69 referred to above.<br />

Orders under s 32(2) are <strong>in</strong>terlocutory orders made pend<strong>in</strong>g determ<strong>in</strong>ation <strong>of</strong><br />

the proceed<strong>in</strong>gs under s 32(3); 70 while orders pursuant to s 32(3) are f<strong>in</strong>al orders<br />

dismiss<strong>in</strong>g the charge and discharg<strong>in</strong>g the defendant, with or without conditions.<br />

In Mantell Adams J contrasted the power to make <strong>in</strong>terlocutory orders under s 32(2)<br />

with the “undoubted powers” 71 available to magistrates to adjourn proceed<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

grant bail and make ancillary orders. These general powers can be exercised even<br />

before a decision is made to divert under s 32(1). Adams J said:<br />

“… an adjournment under s 32(2)(a) could not be made for the purpose<br />

<strong>of</strong> consider<strong>in</strong>g whether it was more appropriate to divert a defendant<br />

65 (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955 at [47]. Discussed at n 88 and accompany<strong>in</strong>g text.<br />

66 ibid at [40].<br />

67 Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v El Mawas (2006) 66 NSWLR 93; [2006] NSWCA 154 at [10].<br />

68 ibid.<br />

69 Mantell v Molyneux (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955 at [43].<br />

70 Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v El Mawas (2006) 66 NSWLR 93; [2006] NSWCA 154, per<br />

McColl JA at [80], cit<strong>in</strong>g M<strong>in</strong>ister for Corrective Services v Harris (unrep, 10/7/87, NSWSC) per<br />

Brownie J.<br />

71 (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955 at [43].<br />

14


Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

rather than deal<strong>in</strong>g with him or her <strong>in</strong> accordance with law … [but] … the<br />

general power to adjourn proceed<strong>in</strong>gs must permit a magistrate to do<br />

so before mak<strong>in</strong>g any decision under [s 32(2)].” 72 [sic]<br />

His Honour suggested that the purpose <strong>of</strong> s 32(2) orders is one <strong>of</strong> “widen<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> some<br />

way the general powers <strong>of</strong> the magistrate” by permitt<strong>in</strong>g an “<strong>in</strong>terim position” to be<br />

brought about before the magistrate determ<strong>in</strong>es whether or not to make a f<strong>in</strong>al order<br />

under s 32(3). 73<br />

Thus, <strong>in</strong>terlocutory orders made under s 32(2) can effectively extend by a<br />

considerable marg<strong>in</strong> the six-month enforceability limit <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) orders. 74 Adams J <strong>in</strong><br />

Mantell said <strong>of</strong> s 32(2):<br />

“… the Magistrate may have been able (if he had made a determ<strong>in</strong>ation<br />

that diversion was appropriate under s 32(1)) to deal with the appellant<br />

under s 32(2) and then, when satisfied that the discretion under s 32(3)<br />

should be exercised, do<strong>in</strong>g so at that po<strong>in</strong>t. This could have extended<br />

by a considerable marg<strong>in</strong> the six months’ limit to which his Honour<br />

referred.” 75<br />

Like many <strong>of</strong> the magistrates respond<strong>in</strong>g to our survey, the magistrate <strong>in</strong> Mantell<br />

had expressed the view that the six-month period dur<strong>in</strong>g which s 32(3) orders are<br />

enforceable is too short:<br />

“The learned magistrate noted that the maximum term for which he<br />

could discharge the appellant under s 32 <strong>of</strong> the Act was only six months<br />

and … that longer-term treatment was required. He described the s 32<br />

course <strong>of</strong> action as a ‘six month bandaid’.” 76<br />

S<strong>in</strong>ce the breach provision was <strong>in</strong>troduced <strong>in</strong> 2004, s 32 arguably suffers from an<br />

important textual ambiguity on the question <strong>of</strong> what is the maximum permissible<br />

duration <strong>of</strong> a conditional order made under ss 32(3) and 32(2). Unlike its<br />

Commonwealth counterpart, found <strong>in</strong> s 20BQ <strong>of</strong> the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth), which<br />

sets a three-year limit, ss 32(3) and 32(2) are silent on the issue. It was assumed at<br />

first <strong>in</strong>stance and on appeal <strong>in</strong> Mantell at [45] that a conditional order under s 32(3)<br />

could not be made beyond the six-month period for which it could be enforced as<br />

a result <strong>of</strong> the 2004 amendments. However, it is a drastic step to imply a six-month<br />

limit <strong>in</strong>to the language <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) when the Parliament chose not to alter it at the time<br />

the 2004 and 2005 amendments were <strong>in</strong>serted. It is doubtful whether the ord<strong>in</strong>ary<br />

72 ibid.<br />

73 ibid.<br />

74 ibid at [42] and [47]. The six month enforceability <strong>of</strong> s 32(3) orders is discussed under the head<strong>in</strong>g<br />

“Enforceability: Failure <strong>of</strong> defendants to comply with a s 32 order”, on p 19.<br />

75 ibid at [47].<br />

76 ibid at [14]–[15].<br />

15


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

rules <strong>of</strong> statutory <strong>in</strong>terpretation would permit such a restrictive <strong>in</strong>terpretation. The<br />

implication cannot be regarded as necessary for the operation <strong>of</strong> the section when<br />

no such limit had been stipulated <strong>in</strong> the past. 77 The consequence <strong>of</strong> the <strong>in</strong>terpretation<br />

<strong>of</strong> imply<strong>in</strong>g a six-month limit on s 32(3) conditional orders is that magistrates have<br />

s<strong>in</strong>ce been encouraged <strong>in</strong> Mantell at [45] to utilise the broadly phrased <strong>in</strong>terlocutory<br />

provisions <strong>in</strong> s 32(2) to extend “considerably” s 32(3) conditional orders beyond the<br />

purported six-month limit. If s 32(2) is used <strong>in</strong> this expansive way, then orders made<br />

under it should also be monitored and <strong>of</strong>ficially collected.<br />

The importance <strong>of</strong> a treatment plan<br />

In Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v Albon 78 the court had to determ<strong>in</strong>e whether it<br />

should quash a s 32 order dismiss<strong>in</strong>g malicious wound<strong>in</strong>g charges. The defendant<br />

suffered from cognitive deficits, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g poor impulse control, due to bra<strong>in</strong><br />

trauma. 79 The medical experts testified that it was difficult to locate an appropriate<br />

treatment facility for the defendant and that no detailed treatment plan presently<br />

existed. After admonish<strong>in</strong>g and warn<strong>in</strong>g the defendant, the magistrate dismissed<br />

him on condition that he ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> contact with his case worker and the Public<br />

Guardian. 80 The court held that the magistrate had erred <strong>in</strong> the exercise <strong>of</strong> her<br />

discretion by:<br />

81<br />

1. Not ensur<strong>in</strong>g that evidence was before the court <strong>of</strong> a treatment plan. The court<br />

noted that her Honour could have adjourned proceed<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>in</strong> order for the required<br />

evidence <strong>of</strong> a treatment plan to be procured. 82<br />

2. Not ensur<strong>in</strong>g that the defendant was placed <strong>in</strong>to the care <strong>of</strong> an appropriate person<br />

or <strong>in</strong>stitution — “it was <strong>in</strong>appropriate to abandon the defendant to the community<br />

generally”. 83 Simply impos<strong>in</strong>g a condition oblig<strong>in</strong>g the defendant to keep <strong>in</strong> contact<br />

with his case worker and the Public Guardian did not give effect to the <strong>in</strong>tention<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Act that “some person had to be responsible for the defendant.” 84 Instead,<br />

her Honour could have adjourned proceed<strong>in</strong>gs and required the case worker to<br />

place the defendant <strong>in</strong>to the care <strong>of</strong> the Public Guardian on condition that he not<br />

be at large. 85<br />

77 Wentworth Securities Ltd v Jones [1980] AC 74 at 105–106 and Worrall v Commercial Bank<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Co <strong>of</strong> Sydney Ltd (1917) 24 CLR 28; [1917] HCA 67 at 32 cited with approval by Gleeson CJ<br />

<strong>in</strong> Carr v The State <strong>of</strong> Western Australia (2007) 239 ALR 415; [2007] HCA 47 at [12]. See also<br />

Spigelman CJ <strong>in</strong> R v JS [2007] NSWCCA 272 at [31].<br />

78 [2000] NSWSC 896.<br />

79 ibid at [16].<br />

80 ibid at [9].<br />

81 ibid at [26]. Respondent 24 noted that the requirement <strong>of</strong> hav<strong>in</strong>g a treatment plan can be difficult<br />

for people rely<strong>in</strong>g on community health treatment services.<br />

82 ibid at [27].<br />

83 ibid at [23].<br />

84 ibid at [24].<br />

85 ibid at [27].<br />

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Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

The requirement <strong>of</strong> a viable treatment plan was also raised by Smart J <strong>in</strong> the earlier<br />

case <strong>of</strong> Perry v Forbes. 86 There his Honour emphasised the need for a “clear and<br />

effective” treatment plan to be prepared as part <strong>of</strong> the medical evidence, and that<br />

the accused’s solicitor should have ensured that such a plan was made available to<br />

the magistrate.<br />

Magistrates respond<strong>in</strong>g to our survey <strong>in</strong>dicated that the <strong>report</strong>s submitted to the<br />

court <strong>of</strong>ten fail to conta<strong>in</strong> treatment plans or, where treatment plans are available,<br />

their quality varies widely and adjournments are <strong>of</strong>ten required to ensure that a<br />

workable treatment plan is before the court.<br />

Well prepared treatment plans promote clarity, accountability and a sound basis on<br />

which the court can make decisions concern<strong>in</strong>g s 32. Treatment plans and related<br />

<strong>report</strong>s should provide magistrates with the type <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion detailed <strong>in</strong> Table 3. 87<br />

Treatment outcome data<br />

Data on treatment outcomes is either unavailable or not be<strong>in</strong>g presented to the<br />

courts. When asked whether the s 32 orders they issue are effective, two-thirds<br />

<strong>of</strong> respond<strong>in</strong>g magistrates stated that they do not know because they do not<br />

receive any feedback <strong>report</strong>s. None <strong>of</strong> the respondents who said that s 32 orders<br />

are effective based their answer on <strong>report</strong>s about the treatment progress <strong>of</strong> any<br />

particular <strong>of</strong>fender. Rather, they based their responses on not be<strong>in</strong>g aware <strong>of</strong> any<br />

breach proceed<strong>in</strong>gs or further <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g. But neither <strong>of</strong> these <strong>in</strong>dicators are a direct,<br />

and therefore valid, measure <strong>of</strong> the effectiveness <strong>of</strong> treatment, and both may be<br />

false positives.<br />

86 (unrep, 21/5/93, NSWSC) at 15–16.<br />

87 These comments on treatment plans are based on magistrates’ survey responses; observations<br />

<strong>of</strong> psychologist A Robilliard, unpublished paper presented at the <strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>, Local Court Annual Conference, 2006, Sydney; MD Spiegler and DC Guevremont,<br />

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (4th Ed), 2003, Wadsworth Belmont, California, USA; J White,<br />

A Day and L Hackett, Writ<strong>in</strong>g Reports for Court: A Practical Guide for Psychologists Work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

Forensic Contexts, 2007, Australian Academic Press, Brisbane; and the multiaxial assessment<br />

methodology <strong>of</strong> DSM-IV, op cit n 12 at 27–37.<br />

17


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Table 3: Suggested <strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion required <strong>in</strong> treatment plans & related <strong>report</strong>s<br />

Type <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion<br />

Personal (psychosocial)<br />

factors<br />

Medical history<br />

Incident giv<strong>in</strong>g rise to<br />

charges<br />

Psychometric test<strong>in</strong>g<br />

DSM-IV Global<br />

Assessment <strong>of</strong> Function<strong>in</strong>g<br />

score and diagnosis<br />

Nature and course <strong>of</strong><br />

treatment<br />

Prognosis<br />

Proven effectiveness <strong>of</strong><br />

proposed treatment (if<br />

such evidence is available)<br />

Resources required<br />

Suitability, motivation and<br />

consent<br />

Evaluation <strong>of</strong> treatment &<br />

reassessment <strong>of</strong> accused<br />

Accountability<br />

Transition and life after<br />

s 32<br />

Examples <strong>of</strong> details<br />

Childhood problems (emotional or sexual abuse, dysfunctional family)<br />

Education/tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

Hous<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Interpersonal relationships<br />

Employment history<br />

Drug/alcohol use<br />

Prior crim<strong>in</strong>ality<br />

Diagnoses <strong>of</strong> mental disorders. Other diagnoses dim<strong>in</strong>ish<strong>in</strong>g psychosocial<br />

function<strong>in</strong>g (eg, a medical condition that adversely affects employment,<br />

educational, emotional or <strong>in</strong>terpersonal function<strong>in</strong>g).<br />

The accused’s perspective <strong>of</strong> the <strong>in</strong>cident giv<strong>in</strong>g rise to charges provides an<br />

<strong>in</strong>sight <strong>in</strong>to their mental disorder, suggests treatment avenues and plays a role <strong>in</strong><br />

the magistrate’s assessment <strong>of</strong> the seriousness <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fence.<br />

Types <strong>of</strong> tests used and results. Psychometric tests provide a basel<strong>in</strong>e aga<strong>in</strong>st<br />

which future change can be measured.<br />

Global Assessment <strong>of</strong> Function<strong>in</strong>g score and diagnosis us<strong>in</strong>g the criteria <strong>of</strong><br />

DSM-IV. The <strong>report</strong> should specify how the diagnosis fits <strong>in</strong>to the scheme <strong>of</strong><br />

s 32(1)(a).<br />

Pharmacotherapy and/or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), medical treatment,<br />

substance abuse treatment, assistance with hous<strong>in</strong>g, employment or social<br />

security benefits, skills, relationships. Frequency and duration <strong>of</strong> treatment<br />

<strong>in</strong>terventions (eg, daily medication, weekly visits etc). Any known side effects <strong>of</strong><br />

treatment should be noted.<br />

Expected outcomes should be identified, as they provide the basis aga<strong>in</strong>st<br />

which to evaluate the effectiveness <strong>of</strong> the treatment. Also, the consequences <strong>of</strong><br />

not attempt<strong>in</strong>g treatment at this po<strong>in</strong>t should be noted.<br />

Relevant articles provid<strong>in</strong>g empirical support for a proposed treatment <strong>in</strong><br />

regards to particular disorders (eg, a particular form <strong>of</strong> CBT may have proven<br />

efficacy <strong>in</strong> treat<strong>in</strong>g anxiety disorders, or an antipsychotic medication may relieve<br />

symptoms <strong>in</strong> a particular percentage <strong>of</strong> patients with psychotic disorders).<br />

Practical viability: How much treatment will cost and who bears its cost is an<br />

issue requir<strong>in</strong>g express resolution from the outset. The plan should also itemise<br />

the resources required for treatment and whether those resources are available<br />

to the accused.<br />

Cl<strong>in</strong>ical viability: Whether the mentally disordered accused understands the<br />

treatment plan, consents to it, is able to comply with it and is sufficiently<br />

motivated to comply with it needs to be established from the outset. Likewise,<br />

where relevant, the suitability and consent <strong>of</strong> a s 32(3)(a) “responsible person”<br />

should be detailed.<br />

The plan should state that it will be evaluated aga<strong>in</strong>st expected outcomes.<br />

Where progress is not be<strong>in</strong>g made the court should be notified.<br />

The plan should state a person responsible for the implementation <strong>of</strong> the plan.<br />

The plan should <strong>in</strong>clude a provision mak<strong>in</strong>g the person responsible for its<br />

implementation accountable to the court via regular contact with the court.<br />

The plan should also state what constitutes a major (<strong>report</strong>able) breach and the<br />

consequences that follow.<br />

The plan should provide the accused with a graduated transition from <strong>in</strong>tensive<br />

treatment to ma<strong>in</strong>tenance <strong>of</strong> mental health after the s 32 order has expired.<br />

18


Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

Enforceability: Failure <strong>of</strong> defendants to comply with a s 32 order<br />

As a result <strong>of</strong> amendments <strong>in</strong>troduced by the Crimes Legislation Amendment Act<br />

2002, largely <strong>in</strong> response to concerns expressed by magistrates, from 14 February<br />

2004 s 32 orders became enforceable for the first time. 88<br />

Reports from service providers: s 32A<br />

Section 32A provides that a person who assesses or treats an accused under s 32(3)<br />

may <strong>report</strong> a failure by the accused to comply with a treatment order to:<br />

an <strong>of</strong>ficer <strong>of</strong> Community Offender Services, Probation and Parole Service<br />

an <strong>of</strong>ficer <strong>of</strong> the Department <strong>of</strong> Juvenile Justice, or<br />

any other person or body prescribed by the regulations.<br />

Treatment providers can <strong>in</strong>clude <strong>in</strong> a <strong>report</strong> any <strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion relevant to the<br />

defendant’s non-compliance.<br />

The Probation and Parole Service and Department <strong>of</strong> Juvenile Justice act as<br />

<strong>in</strong>dependent <strong>in</strong>formers, <strong>in</strong>stigat<strong>in</strong>g breach proceed<strong>in</strong>gs and, where appropriate,<br />

<strong>in</strong>struct<strong>in</strong>g police prosecutors, who will prosecute the rehear<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> the orig<strong>in</strong>al<br />

charge.<br />

Call ups and further proceed<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

If a magistrate f<strong>in</strong>ds that a defendant subject to a s 32 order has failed to comply<br />

with its conditions, they may under s 32(3A), with<strong>in</strong> six months <strong>of</strong> the order be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

made, call on the defendant to appear before them. Warrants for the accused’s<br />

arrest may be issued under s 32(3B).<br />

88 Section 32 was amended by Sch 9[1]–[3] Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2002, which<br />

commenced on 14 February 2004: s 2 and GG No 35 <strong>of</strong> 13/2/2004, p 612. See M Spiers<br />

“Summary Disposal <strong>of</strong> Crim<strong>in</strong>al Offences under s 32 Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act<br />

1990” (2004) 16(2) <strong>Judicial</strong> Officers’ Bullet<strong>in</strong> 9 at 9, who notes that:<br />

“This reform was recommended by the Interdepartmental Committee on the Mental Health<br />

(Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act 1990 and Cognate Legislation, a committee comprised <strong>of</strong> senior<br />

government agency representatives, barristers and psychiatrists. It was advocated ma<strong>in</strong>ly<br />

by magistrates and practitioners who could see that many defendants did not comply with<br />

conditions <strong>of</strong> orders where there was no ramifications for non-compliance. This would lead to<br />

their <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g behaviour escalat<strong>in</strong>g, someth<strong>in</strong>g which was not detected until the person was<br />

brought before the court aga<strong>in</strong> on fresh, and <strong>of</strong>ten more serious, charges. Ultimately, courts<br />

were forced to impose severe crim<strong>in</strong>al penalties, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g custodial sentences. As a result,<br />

the opportunity for positive, effective, <strong>in</strong>tervention and diversion at the earliest stage was be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

lost. Many magistrates had become reluctant to make orders under s 32. Consequently, the<br />

rehabilitative opportunities that the section presented were not be<strong>in</strong>g used.”<br />

So, has mak<strong>in</strong>g s 32 orders enforceable meant that magistrates use them more? We do not<br />

know. Unfortunately, such a statistical analysis cannot be undertaken because pre-2004 figures<br />

relate to all dismissals under the Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act 1990. In other words, for<br />

pre-2004, there are no figures for dismissals pursuant to s 32 alone.<br />

19


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Ultimately, if a defendant fails to comply with a condition with<strong>in</strong> six months <strong>of</strong> be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

discharged under s 32, the magistrate may under s 32(3D) deal with the charge as if<br />

the defendant had not been diverted by way <strong>of</strong> a s 32 discharge.<br />

A failure to comply with a s 32 order is technically about non-compliance with a<br />

condition <strong>of</strong> a treatment plan, rather than further <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g. Spiers argues that s 32<br />

orders are not a type <strong>of</strong> bond, so conditions to be “<strong>of</strong> good behaviour” do not accord<br />

with the legislative <strong>in</strong>tent <strong>of</strong> s 32. 89 The Local Courts Bench Book relevantly states:<br />

“Committ<strong>in</strong>g further <strong>of</strong>fences does not automatically result <strong>in</strong> a breach<br />

<strong>of</strong> a conditional discharge order. A breach must result from a failure <strong>of</strong><br />

an accused to comply with mental health or disability service support<br />

conditions.” 90<br />

The breach figures 2004–2006<br />

Section 32A’s objective <strong>of</strong> encourag<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion about breaches to flow<br />

from treatment providers through to magistrates is an important element <strong>of</strong> the<br />

therapeutic justice <strong>in</strong>itiative that s 32 embodies.<br />

Unfortunately, figures from the NSW Bureau <strong>of</strong> Crime Statistics and Research,<br />

depicted <strong>in</strong> Table 4, suggest that, prima facie, s 32A has failed to atta<strong>in</strong> its objective<br />

<strong>of</strong> facilitat<strong>in</strong>g the <strong>report</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> breaches.<br />

Table 4: Breaches <strong>of</strong> conditional s 32 orders, 2004–2006<br />

Year s 32(3)(a) s 32(3)(b) Total<br />

2004 * 2 5 7<br />

2005 11 4 15<br />

2006 7 9 16<br />

Total 20 <strong>of</strong> 1556 18 <strong>of</strong> 659 38<br />

* Only figures for April–December are available for 2004.<br />

The survey and breaches<br />

The figures <strong>in</strong> Table 4 were reflected <strong>in</strong> the responses <strong>of</strong> magistrates. When asked<br />

“What factors determ<strong>in</strong>e whether you breach an <strong>of</strong>fender or take no action?”:<br />

9% <strong>of</strong> respondent magistrates mentioned that they had been notified <strong>of</strong> a breach<br />

45% mentioned that they had never been notified <strong>of</strong> a breach<br />

3% said that they had been notified <strong>of</strong> a breach only once, and<br />

the rema<strong>in</strong>der responded hypothetically or skipped the question altogether.<br />

89 M Spiers, ibid.<br />

90 Local Courts Bench Book, 2004, <strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>, Sydney, at [4120].<br />

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Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

Table 4 and the responses <strong>of</strong> magistrates reveal that:<br />

There needs to be detailed guidel<strong>in</strong>es on what constitutes a breach, which all<br />

parties (<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g the accused) agree to. We have suggested <strong>in</strong> Table 3 that this<br />

forms part <strong>of</strong> the treatment plan.<br />

Service providers may be reluctant to <strong>report</strong> breaches.<br />

Probation and Parole Service and Juvenile Justice may be reluctant or unable to<br />

<strong>report</strong> a breach when notified <strong>of</strong> one.<br />

An efficient and reliable breach <strong>report</strong><strong>in</strong>g process needs to be established and<br />

monitored.<br />

As Respondent 7 politely understated the matter:<br />

“There needs to be a more def<strong>in</strong>itive method <strong>of</strong> referral to the judicial<br />

<strong>of</strong>ficer on any breach … The current somewhat unsatisfactory <strong>report</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

conditions could be very much simplified.”<br />

Is the six-month enforceability period long enough?<br />

The reforms which made s 32 orders enforceable were advocated by magistrates<br />

and practitioners who could see that:<br />

non-compliance with conditions <strong>of</strong> s 32 orders was common<br />

there were no ramifications for non-compliance<br />

it was likely that a mentally disordered accused’s crim<strong>in</strong>al behaviour would<br />

escalate, and<br />

the opportunity for diversion and effective <strong>in</strong>tervention was be<strong>in</strong>g lost. 91<br />

When asked whether the six-month enforceability period is adequate: 92<br />

7 respondent magistrates (21%) said that six months was long enough, and<br />

23 respondent magistrates (70%) said that six months was too short.<br />

Some <strong>of</strong> the magistrates who said that six months was too short recommended<br />

a period <strong>of</strong> time that they believed would make s 32 orders more effective,<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g 12 months, 12–18 months and two years. 93 By way <strong>of</strong> comparison, the<br />

Commonwealth equivalent <strong>of</strong> s 32 is s 20BQ <strong>of</strong> the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). It permits<br />

courts <strong>of</strong> summary jurisdiction to make orders <strong>of</strong> up to three years duration. It has,<br />

however, no equivalent breach provisions.<br />

91 M Spiers, op cit n 88, at 10.<br />

92 There were three respondents who did not answer this question.<br />

93 One <strong>of</strong> the reasons suggested for this period <strong>of</strong> time was directed not at improv<strong>in</strong>g treatment<br />

outcomes but at ensur<strong>in</strong>g that, for <strong>in</strong>dictable <strong>of</strong>fences tried summarily, community protection was<br />

adequately catered for through longer periods <strong>of</strong> conditional discharge. This reflects a concern<br />

that the public <strong>in</strong>terest pr<strong>in</strong>ciple discussed by the court <strong>in</strong> Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v<br />

El Mawas (2006) 66 NSWLR 93; [2006] NSWCA 154 at [71] is adequately addressed.<br />

Respondents 25 and 33 expressly noted the discrepancy between s 32 orders and bonds under ss 9<br />

and 10 <strong>of</strong> the Crimes (Sentenc<strong>in</strong>g Procedure) Act 1999, which are enforceable for up to two years.<br />

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<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Pr<strong>of</strong>essor Greenberg, Cl<strong>in</strong>ical Director <strong>of</strong> the State-wide Community and Court<br />

Liaison Service, 94 has also suggested that six months may be too brief a time to<br />

obta<strong>in</strong> real behavioural change and therapeutic ga<strong>in</strong>s. 95<br />

The issue <strong>of</strong> enforceability is central to the ability <strong>of</strong> s 32 orders to provide an<br />

effective therapeutic jurisprudence mechanism for <strong>of</strong>fenders with a mental disorder. 96<br />

Pr<strong>of</strong>essor Greenberg has argued that defendants with a mental disorder <strong>of</strong>ten have<br />

impaired <strong>in</strong>sight <strong>in</strong>to their condition and impaired impulse control — <strong>in</strong> other words,<br />

they may not be able to understand or control their behaviour. 97 Typically, they may<br />

be unable to recognise and accept the need to take medication and/or adhere to<br />

treatment programs. They may also be unable to understand why their behaviour<br />

upsets others. On their own, change may be beyond them. S<strong>in</strong>ce accountability<br />

is not <strong>in</strong>ternally generated, it needs to be provided externally. That is why s 32<br />

orders are likely to be most effective <strong>in</strong> alleviat<strong>in</strong>g mental disorder and facilitat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

behavioural change when they provide for:<br />

Treatment plans (as discussed above).<br />

Incentives (positive re<strong>in</strong>forcement): The diversion from the standard crim<strong>in</strong>al<br />

justice pathway is an obvious <strong>in</strong>centive. But equally important are the ongo<strong>in</strong>g<br />

subtle <strong>in</strong>centives received along the treatment pathway. In both respects, “the<br />

role <strong>of</strong> the judicial <strong>of</strong>ficer [should be] pivotal.” 98<br />

Accountability (negative re<strong>in</strong>forcement): The <strong>in</strong>verse <strong>of</strong> po<strong>in</strong>t two applies here.<br />

The accused has to account for their actions to treatment providers and to the<br />

supervis<strong>in</strong>g magistrate. Where they have not complied with the terms <strong>of</strong> their<br />

order, constructive feedback and disapproval will be received along the way. The<br />

prospect that a breach will lead the defendant back onto the standard crim<strong>in</strong>al<br />

justice pathway is the strongest form <strong>of</strong> negative re<strong>in</strong>forcement.<br />

Section 32 and unfitness<br />

The relationship between s 32 and the question <strong>of</strong> whether an accused is unfit to<br />

be tried is vexed. There was a view expressed <strong>in</strong> Perry v Forbes 99 that, s<strong>in</strong>ce the<br />

Local Court is not <strong>in</strong>cluded <strong>in</strong> Pt 2 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act,<br />

94 The State-wide Community and Court Liaison Service provides the Local Court <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong><br />

<strong>Wales</strong> with a source <strong>of</strong> specialist mental health services and advice, and facilitates the <strong>in</strong>teraction<br />

between the courts and community-based mental health services: , accessed 13 September 2006.<br />

95 Pr<strong>of</strong>essor D Greenberg made this comment at a “Mental Health and Crim<strong>in</strong>al Justice Sem<strong>in</strong>ar”<br />

organised by the Crim<strong>in</strong>al Justice Research Network, on 7 September 2006, Sydney.<br />

96 Regard<strong>in</strong>g the prevalence <strong>of</strong> mental illness <strong>in</strong> the <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> prison system, see n 10–16<br />

and accompany<strong>in</strong>g text.<br />

97 D Greenberg, op cit n 95.<br />

98 A Freiberg, “Non-adversarial approaches to crim<strong>in</strong>al justice” (2007) 16(4) Journal <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong><br />

Adm<strong>in</strong>istration 205 at 217.<br />

99 Perry v Forbes (unrep, 21/5/93, NSWSC) at 18.<br />

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Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

the question <strong>of</strong> unfitness is not a matter about which magistrates could <strong>in</strong>quire. 100<br />

Mantell v Molyneux 101 clearly holds that the common law requires magistrates to<br />

enterta<strong>in</strong> the issue <strong>of</strong> unfitness <strong>in</strong> appropriate cases. The case <strong>in</strong>volved an appeal<br />

aga<strong>in</strong>st a magistrate’s refusal <strong>of</strong> two applications for s 32 orders and one application<br />

for a permanent stay due to unfitness. Adams J said:<br />

“Even though, <strong>in</strong> the case <strong>of</strong> a charge be<strong>in</strong>g heard <strong>in</strong> the Local Court,<br />

there is no statutory enactment either deal<strong>in</strong>g with determ<strong>in</strong>ation <strong>of</strong> the<br />

question <strong>of</strong> fitness to be tried or as to what should occur if a person is<br />

found unfit to be tried, it seems to me that, where a defendant is found<br />

not fit to be tried, he or she must be discharged.” 102<br />

The question that arises is: should the s 32 discretion be exercised before or<br />

after the question <strong>of</strong> unfitness is determ<strong>in</strong>ed? The prevail<strong>in</strong>g view is that, as s 32<br />

is a threshold diversionary mechanism, it should be considered before issues <strong>of</strong><br />

unfitness arise.<br />

Smart J said <strong>in</strong> Perry v Forbes that s 32 considerations precede fitness<br />

considerations because s 32 applies “whether or not a plea is entered and whether<br />

or not a defendant is fit to plead.” 103 It has been held <strong>in</strong> two first-<strong>in</strong>stance Supreme<br />

Court decisions that even a person whose mental disorder patently makes them<br />

unfit to stand trial can be diverted under s 32. 104 The question <strong>of</strong> fitness arises only<br />

when the court requires a plea prior to trial. 105<br />

If a question <strong>of</strong> fitness rema<strong>in</strong>s after the magistrate exercises their discretion not to<br />

deal with the accused by way <strong>of</strong> s 32, then at that po<strong>in</strong>t the fitness issue becomes<br />

relevant. As Adams J said <strong>in</strong> Mantell, the magistrate correctly did not consider the<br />

issue <strong>of</strong> fitness when exercis<strong>in</strong>g his discretion not to issue a s 32 order. 106<br />

A further issue aris<strong>in</strong>g from these authorities is what extra steps the court should<br />

take where a defendant <strong>in</strong> a s 32 application does not or cannot comprehend or<br />

follow the proceed<strong>in</strong>gs.<br />

Other issues raised by magistrates<br />

Other issues raised by magistrates about s 32 related to the nature <strong>of</strong> the mental<br />

disorder from which the accused suffered (or suffers) and the nature <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fence<br />

they allegedly committed. We discuss these concerns under the head<strong>in</strong>gs “The<br />

100 ibid at 13.<br />

101 (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955.<br />

102 ibid at [28].<br />

103 Perry v Forbes (unrep, 21/5/93, NSWSC) at 12.<br />

104 Mantell v Molyneux (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955 at [49], cit<strong>in</strong>g Mackie v Hunt (1989)<br />

19 NSWLR 130.<br />

105 ibid at [16].<br />

106 ibid.<br />

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<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

coverage <strong>of</strong> conditions under s 32”, the “Nature <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fences committed” and “The<br />

role <strong>of</strong> the seriousness <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fence”, and here simply note some <strong>in</strong>dividual<br />

responses:<br />

As the summary jurisdiction has expanded, the <strong>of</strong>fences be<strong>in</strong>g dealt with under<br />

s 32 have become more serious. 107<br />

The s 32(1)(a) criteria for mental disorder are imprecise and complicated by an<br />

exclusionary reference to the Mental Health Act. 108<br />

The phrase “suffer<strong>in</strong>g from a mental condition for which treatment is available<br />

<strong>in</strong> hospital [now mental health facility]”, <strong>in</strong> s 32(1)(a)(iii), is so vague as to be<br />

mean<strong>in</strong>gless. 109<br />

The section is silent on whether the “responsible person” <strong>in</strong> s 32(3)(a) needs to<br />

agree <strong>in</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g to their responsibilities, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g their responsibilities to advise<br />

<strong>of</strong> a breach. 110<br />

The words “<strong>in</strong>to the care <strong>of</strong> a responsible person” <strong>in</strong> s 32(3)(a) need to be<br />

amended because they are fictitious. For the most part, a variety <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essionals<br />

or agencies implement the treatment plan, not any one person. 111<br />

It might be useful for s 32 to specifically refer to the need for a treatment plan. 112<br />

The coverage <strong>of</strong> conditions under s 32<br />

For an accused person to be diverted from the crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system via s 32 it<br />

must “appear” 113 to the magistrate that the defendant:<br />

1 is/was:<br />

developmentally disabled<br />

suffer<strong>in</strong>g from a mental illness, or<br />

suffer<strong>in</strong>g from a mental condition for which treatment is available <strong>in</strong> a mental<br />

health facility; and<br />

2 is not a mentally ill person, 114 mean<strong>in</strong>g they:<br />

have no serious impairment <strong>of</strong> mental function<strong>in</strong>g, characterised by the<br />

presence, on its own or <strong>in</strong> comb<strong>in</strong>ation, <strong>of</strong>:<br />

delusions<br />

halluc<strong>in</strong>ations<br />

107 Respondent 2.<br />

108 For <strong>in</strong>stance, Respondents 6, 20, 22, 23, 30.<br />

109 Respondents 2, 11.<br />

110 Respondent 15.<br />

111 Respondents 14, 25.<br />

112 Respondent 16. See the discussion under the head<strong>in</strong>g “The importance <strong>of</strong> a treatment plan” on p 16.<br />

113 The appearance threshold <strong>in</strong> s 32(1) is both necessary and sufficient to enliven the s 32<br />

discretion. Conceivably, it permits the exercise <strong>of</strong> the discretion on the basis <strong>of</strong> evidence fall<strong>in</strong>g<br />

short <strong>of</strong> a def<strong>in</strong>itive diagnosis.<br />

114 See ss 8, 9 and Sch 1 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health Act 1990, and ss 4, 13 and 14 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health<br />

Act 2007.<br />

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Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

serious thought disorder<br />

severe disturbance <strong>of</strong> mood, and<br />

susta<strong>in</strong>ed or repeated irrational behaviour <strong>in</strong>dicat<strong>in</strong>g the presence <strong>of</strong> any<br />

<strong>of</strong> the above four symptoms; and<br />

are not a danger to themselves or to others. 115<br />

Magistrates respond<strong>in</strong>g to our survey expressed concern with the broadness and<br />

imprecision <strong>of</strong> the mental disorder criteria, which was especially vex<strong>in</strong>g to them <strong>in</strong> cases<br />

where differ<strong>in</strong>g or equivocal diagnoses were received <strong>in</strong> respect <strong>of</strong> a particular accused.<br />

Some magistrates suggested that mental disorder should be “serious” or “connected”<br />

to the <strong>of</strong>fence (that is, crim<strong>in</strong>ogenic). This raises the question <strong>of</strong> how should a “serious”<br />

mental disorder be def<strong>in</strong>ed? Further, precisely how closely should any mental disorder<br />

be “connected” to an <strong>of</strong>fence? 116 From a policy perspective, “serious” and “connected”<br />

then become contested levers, whereby therapeutic jurisprudence is made available to<br />

some mentally disordered accused but not to others.<br />

Ultimately, some th<strong>in</strong>gs are irreducibly complex. Mental disorder is such an issue.<br />

This is stated candidly <strong>in</strong> the <strong>in</strong>troduction to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual <strong>of</strong><br />

Mental Disorders (DSM-IV):<br />

“… although this manual provides a classification <strong>of</strong> mental disorders,<br />

it must be admitted that no def<strong>in</strong>ition adequately specifies precise<br />

boundaries for the concept <strong>of</strong> ‘mental disorder’. The concept <strong>of</strong> mental<br />

disorders, like many other concepts <strong>in</strong> medic<strong>in</strong>e and science, lacks a<br />

consistent operational def<strong>in</strong>ition that covers all situations … In DSM-<br />

IV, there is no assumption that each category <strong>of</strong> mental disorder is a<br />

completely discrete entity with absolute boundaries divid<strong>in</strong>g it from<br />

other mental disorders or from no mental disorder. There is also no<br />

assumption that all <strong>in</strong>dividuals described as hav<strong>in</strong>g the same mental<br />

disorder are alike <strong>in</strong> all important ways.” 117<br />

The <strong>in</strong>herent complexity and fluidity <strong>of</strong> mental disorder is only magnified when viewed<br />

through the perspective <strong>of</strong> the legal system. Aga<strong>in</strong>, the authors <strong>of</strong> DSM-IV note:<br />

“The cl<strong>in</strong>ical and scientific considerations <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> categorization <strong>of</strong><br />

… mental disorders may not be wholly relevant to legal judgments, for<br />

example, that take <strong>in</strong>to account such issues as <strong>in</strong>dividual responsibility<br />

… and competency.” 118<br />

115 This exclusion, expressed negatively <strong>in</strong> the Mental Health Act 1990 as “but is not a mentally ill<br />

person with<strong>in</strong> the mean<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> Ch 3 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health Act 1990”, was a source <strong>of</strong> confusion to<br />

some <strong>of</strong> the magistrates respond<strong>in</strong>g to our survey: for <strong>in</strong>stance, Respondents 2, 22 and 23. It has<br />

been effectively reta<strong>in</strong>ed, although <strong>in</strong> amended form, by the Mental Health Act 2007 Sch 7.7[15].<br />

116 As the presid<strong>in</strong>g magistrate po<strong>in</strong>ted out <strong>in</strong> Police v Deng [2008] NSWLC 2, after issu<strong>in</strong>g a s 32<br />

order:<br />

“… it is not clear to what extent the applicant’s mental health problems played a role <strong>in</strong> the<br />

<strong>in</strong>cident [a learner driver los<strong>in</strong>g control <strong>of</strong> her car and runn<strong>in</strong>g over people at a bus stop], and<br />

more than likely this issue will never be clear.” (emphasis added)<br />

117 DSM-IV, op cit n 12, pp xxx–xxxi.<br />

118 ibid, p xxxvii.<br />

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<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

For <strong>in</strong>stance, Spigelman CJ has said that it should not be assumed that all DSM-based<br />

diagnoses will necessarily operate as matters <strong>in</strong> mitigation at sentence. 119<br />

The irreducible complexity <strong>of</strong> mental disorder is naturally difficult to deal with. But, <strong>in</strong><br />

the case <strong>of</strong> s 32, the legislature has responded to this complexity by deal<strong>in</strong>g with a<br />

broad issue <strong>in</strong> broad terms and <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g the discretion <strong>of</strong> magistrates. Ultimately,<br />

all that is required is an appearance <strong>of</strong> a mental disorder.<br />

The follow<strong>in</strong>g comments on the three-part categorisation <strong>of</strong> mental disorder used <strong>in</strong><br />

s 32 highlight the breadth and malleability <strong>of</strong> the concept.<br />

“Developmentally disabled”<br />

Developmental disability is not legislatively def<strong>in</strong>ed. An <strong>in</strong>dication <strong>of</strong> what a<br />

developmental disability may comprise, for the purposes <strong>of</strong> s 32, is provided by the<br />

DSM-IV def<strong>in</strong>ition <strong>of</strong> “pervasive developmental disorders”:<br />

“… severe and pervasive impairment <strong>in</strong> several areas <strong>of</strong> development:<br />

reciprocal social <strong>in</strong>teraction skills, communication skills, or the presence<br />

<strong>of</strong> stereotyped behaviour, <strong>in</strong>terests and activities.” 120<br />

Pervasive developmental disorders identified <strong>in</strong> DSM-IV <strong>in</strong>clude:<br />

Autistic disorders<br />

Rett’s disorder<br />

Asperger’s disorder, and<br />

Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.<br />

It is conceivable, however, that developmental disability is a broader category than<br />

pervasive developmental disorder and encompasses all <strong>of</strong> the disorders listed as<br />

“Disorders Usually First Diagnosed <strong>in</strong> Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence”, which<br />

<strong>in</strong> addition to pervasive developmental disorders <strong>in</strong>clude Mental Retardation,<br />

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Learn<strong>in</strong>g disorders and Communication<br />

disorders.<br />

119 In R v Lawrence [2005] NSWCCA 91 Spigelman CJ at [23] observed that there appeared to be<br />

an assumption that any DSM-based diagnosis will automatically lead to a reduction <strong>in</strong> sentence.<br />

However, as the Chief Justice expla<strong>in</strong>ed, it is by no means certa<strong>in</strong> that mental disorders such<br />

as Anti-social Personality Disorder — notwithstand<strong>in</strong>g their DSM-IV status — are <strong>of</strong> a character<br />

justify<strong>in</strong>g such an outcome: [24]. Indeed, Anti-social Personality Disorder, like all personality<br />

disorders, is by def<strong>in</strong>ition highly <strong>in</strong>gra<strong>in</strong>ed and resistant to change, so the need for community<br />

protection is strengthened, not lessened.<br />

120 DSM-IV, op cit n 12, p 69.<br />

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Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

Intellectual disability is not listed <strong>in</strong> DSM-IV. As mentioned above, DSM-IV <strong>in</strong>stead<br />

refers to “Mental retardation”, which it def<strong>in</strong>es as:<br />

“[s]ignificantly subaverage <strong>in</strong>tellectual function<strong>in</strong>g (an IQ <strong>of</strong><br />

approximately 70 or below) with onset before age 18 years and<br />

concurrent deficits or impairments <strong>in</strong> adaptive function<strong>in</strong>g”. 121<br />

Howard and Westmore suggest that, for practical purposes, developmental disability<br />

and <strong>in</strong>tellectual disability are synonymous. 122 Nevertheless, the Intellectual Disability<br />

Rights Service is concerned that s 32 is not be<strong>in</strong>g used as <strong>of</strong>ten as it could be for<br />

accused with <strong>in</strong>tellectual disabilities. 123 They raise as an issue for consideration<br />

whether s 32(1)(a)(i) should be amended to expressly refer to “<strong>in</strong>tellectual disability”.<br />

Another issue concern<strong>in</strong>g the mean<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> “developmental disability” was raised<br />

by Howard and Westmore, who note that developmental disability does not cover<br />

cognitive deficits aris<strong>in</strong>g from acquired bra<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>jury or illness. 124<br />

“Mental illness”<br />

As outl<strong>in</strong>ed above, what constitutes mental illness for the purpose <strong>of</strong> s 32 is made<br />

<strong>in</strong> reference to the Mental Health Act. If there is “serious” impairment <strong>of</strong> mental<br />

function<strong>in</strong>g, as characterised above, 125 and the person is a danger to themselves or<br />

others, then s 33 is the appropriate means by which to deal with the matter. If these<br />

criteria are not met, then the mental illness may fall with<strong>in</strong> the purview <strong>of</strong> s 32.<br />

“Suffer<strong>in</strong>g from a mental condition for which treatment is available <strong>in</strong> a hospital/<br />

mental health facility”<br />

The phrase “for which treatment is available <strong>in</strong> a hospital” has recently been<br />

amended by the Mental Health Act 2007 126 to read “for which treatment is available<br />

<strong>in</strong> a mental health facility”. Section 4 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health Act 2007 def<strong>in</strong>es a mental<br />

health care facility as a “declared mental health facility or a private mental health<br />

facility”.<br />

121 ibid, p 39. Section 37(5) <strong>of</strong> the Bail Act 1978 and s 66F <strong>of</strong> the Crimes Act 1900 def<strong>in</strong>e <strong>in</strong>tellectual<br />

disability as “an appreciably below average general <strong>in</strong>tellectual function that results <strong>in</strong> the person<br />

requir<strong>in</strong>g supervision or social habilitation <strong>in</strong> connection with daily life activities.” See also the<br />

def<strong>in</strong>ition <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>tellectual impairment found <strong>in</strong> s 306M <strong>of</strong> the Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure Act 1986.<br />

122 D Howard and B Westmore, Crime and Mental Health Law <strong>in</strong> NSW: A Practical Guide for Lawyers<br />

and Mental Health Pr<strong>of</strong>essionals, 2005, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, p 430.<br />

123 Intellectual Disability Rights Service, Alleged Offenders with An Intellectual Disability In the Local<br />

Courts: Brief<strong>in</strong>g Paper on Draft Report, 2007, Sydney.<br />

124 D Howard and B Westmore, op cit n 122, p 431.<br />

125 See n 114 and 115 and accompany<strong>in</strong>g text.<br />

126 Sch 7.7[14].<br />

27


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Magistrates respond<strong>in</strong>g to our survey <strong>in</strong>dicated that the phrase “for which treatment<br />

is available <strong>in</strong> a hospital [now mental health care facility]” is archaic and confus<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Psychologist Anna Robilliard suggests that this phrase embodies discredited, pre-<br />

Richmond Report policies <strong>of</strong> over-<strong>in</strong>stitutionalis<strong>in</strong>g people suffer<strong>in</strong>g from a mental<br />

disorder, and fails to take account <strong>of</strong> advances <strong>in</strong> pharmacotherapy. 127 She proposes<br />

that a contemporary (and broader) read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> the term “mental condition for which<br />

treatment is available <strong>in</strong> hospital/mental health care facility” would simply be “mental<br />

condition for which treatment is available”. As the 2007 amendment still ties the<br />

availability <strong>of</strong> treatment to an <strong>in</strong>stitution, this area <strong>of</strong> concern rema<strong>in</strong>s unresolved.<br />

Anna Robilliard further suggests that “mental condition” has no recognised legal or<br />

cl<strong>in</strong>ical def<strong>in</strong>ition. It is a catch-all phrase. Indeed, Howard and Westmore propose<br />

that the def<strong>in</strong>ition <strong>of</strong> mental condition is arrived at “through a process <strong>of</strong> exclusion”<br />

— what is not mental illness or a developmental disability may be a mental<br />

condition. 128 For them, the issue is primarily a legal matter and mental conditions<br />

could conceivably <strong>in</strong>clude impairment caused by head trauma, personality disorders<br />

and substance-related disorders.<br />

Trial <strong>in</strong>to the efficacy <strong>of</strong> s 32 orders<br />

Douglas, O’Neill and Greenberg conducted a trial <strong>in</strong>volv<strong>in</strong>g 53 mentally disordered<br />

accused given six-month long s 32 orders with a treatment component. Their aim<br />

was to gauge the effect <strong>of</strong> s 32 orders on:<br />

breaches<br />

recidivism, and<br />

mental health outcomes. 129<br />

In terms <strong>of</strong> breaches and re-<strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g, they found that:<br />

four members <strong>of</strong> the s 32 group breached 130<br />

127 A Robilliard, op cit n 87.<br />

128 D Howard and B Westmore, op cit n 122, p 431.<br />

129 L Douglas, C O’Neill and D Greenberg, “Does court mandated outpatient treatment <strong>of</strong> mentally<br />

ill <strong>of</strong>fenders reduce crim<strong>in</strong>al recidivism? A case-control study”, presented at the <strong>Judicial</strong><br />

<strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>, Local Court Annual Conference, 2006, Sydney. This study<br />

used a variety <strong>of</strong> research methods: direct with<strong>in</strong>-group measures <strong>of</strong> breaches, re-<strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and local hospital utilisation; between-group comparison <strong>of</strong> re-<strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g rates (the control group<br />

(n=53) comprised non-mentally disordered accused receiv<strong>in</strong>g bonds); and <strong>in</strong>terviews with case<br />

managers to gauge the extent <strong>of</strong> any mental health outcomes. It is worth not<strong>in</strong>g, as the authors<br />

themselves do, that the study was based <strong>in</strong> a regional sett<strong>in</strong>g. As such, its conclusions may not<br />

translate fully to urban sett<strong>in</strong>gs. See also D McNiel and R B<strong>in</strong>der, “Effectiveness <strong>of</strong> a Mental Health<br />

Court <strong>in</strong> Reduc<strong>in</strong>g Crim<strong>in</strong>al Recidivism and Violence” (2007) 164:9 AM J Psychiatry 1395, where<br />

these authors found that a mental health court <strong>in</strong> that jurisdiction can reduce the recidivism rates<br />

<strong>of</strong> mentally disordered <strong>of</strong>fenders.<br />

130 The reasons for the breaches were: decl<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g medication, miss<strong>in</strong>g an appo<strong>in</strong>tment, chang<strong>in</strong>g a<br />

residential address without <strong>in</strong>form<strong>in</strong>g the court, and abscond<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

28


Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

six members <strong>of</strong> the s 32 group re-<strong>of</strong>fended, 131 and<br />

at a 90% confidence <strong>in</strong>terval, members <strong>of</strong> the s 32 group were “marg<strong>in</strong>ally less<br />

likely” 132 (between 1–25%) to be charged with an <strong>of</strong>fence than members <strong>of</strong> a<br />

control group.<br />

In terms <strong>of</strong> mental health outcomes, they found that members <strong>of</strong> the s 32 group had:<br />

reduced readmission rates to hospital<br />

reduced numbers <strong>of</strong> total hospital bed days, and<br />

improved treatment adherence and patient-cl<strong>in</strong>ician <strong>in</strong>teractions. 133<br />

Although limited <strong>in</strong> scope, the study suggests that s 32 orders have the potential to<br />

produce positive outcomes. Its conclusions support calls to provide comprehensive<br />

outcome data for all s 32 orders.<br />

Future directions: A therapeutic evaluation <strong>of</strong> s 32<br />

Freiberg argues that legislative <strong>in</strong>novations such as s 32 reflect a “failure <strong>of</strong> social<br />

services and traditional court systems to cope with major social problems”. 134 They<br />

are part <strong>of</strong> a group <strong>of</strong> non-adversarial responses to varied and complex phenomena,<br />

where the courts are seen as “only one <strong>of</strong> a range <strong>of</strong> responses to crime and justice,<br />

and one which will not provide a magic bullet to solve most <strong>of</strong> society’s ills”. 135<br />

Proponents <strong>of</strong> therapeutic jurisprudence would argue that s 32 is premised on the<br />

follow<strong>in</strong>g pr<strong>in</strong>ciples:<br />

The way the law is implemented by the entire justice system 136 can <strong>in</strong>crease,<br />

decrease or have a neutral effect on the well-be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fenders.<br />

The crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system should capitalise on the moment that <strong>of</strong>fenders are<br />

brought before it to encourage and facilitate pro-social behavioural change.<br />

131 Compared with 13 members <strong>of</strong> the control group.<br />

132 L Douglas, C O’Neill and D Greenberg, op cit n 129, pp 1, 6; 90% CI: 1–25%.<br />

133 In contrast to magistrates’ concerns about accountability and enforceability, the cl<strong>in</strong>icians<br />

<strong>in</strong>terviewed as part <strong>of</strong> this study observed that “the <strong>in</strong>creased accountability imposed follow<strong>in</strong>g<br />

the revision <strong>of</strong> the Act facilitated treatment adherence and allowed patient–cl<strong>in</strong>ician <strong>in</strong>teractions to<br />

focus on longer-term issues”: ibid p 7.<br />

134 A Freiberg, op cit n 98 at 209–210.<br />

135 ibid at 211.<br />

136 Therapeutic jurisprudence is holistic <strong>in</strong> that its perspective embraces the entire justice system<br />

— police, legal representatives, judicial <strong>of</strong>ficers, probation and parole <strong>of</strong>ficers, and correctional<br />

<strong>of</strong>ficers. In this respect, see L Tepl<strong>in</strong>, “Keep<strong>in</strong>g the Peace: Police Discretion and Mentally ill”<br />

Persons, (2000) (July) National Institute <strong>of</strong> Justice Journal at 12 (cited by R Bernste<strong>in</strong> and<br />

T Seltzer, op cit n 27, at 145). Tepl<strong>in</strong> notes that “dur<strong>in</strong>g street encounters, police <strong>of</strong>ficers are<br />

almost twice as likely to arrest someone who appears to have a mental illness … 47% <strong>of</strong> people<br />

with a mental illness were arrested, while only 28% <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>dividuals without a mental illness were<br />

arrested for the same behaviour” (emphasis added).<br />

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<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

A therapeutic jurisprudence response is multidiscipl<strong>in</strong>ary and designed to<br />

enhance well-be<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Therapeutic jurisprudence balances community protection (justice pr<strong>in</strong>ciples)<br />

aga<strong>in</strong>st <strong>in</strong>dividual needs (therapeutic pr<strong>in</strong>ciples).<br />

The term “therapeutic jurisprudence” or “TJ” is not popular amongst lawyers. 137<br />

The term carries a heavy load because it signifies so much — theory, academic<br />

discipl<strong>in</strong>e, diverse practices and the promised solution to a variety <strong>of</strong> social<br />

problems. 138 However, as Deputy Chief Magistrate (SA) Andrew Cannon notes,<br />

the term usefully recognises and legitimises a qu<strong>in</strong>tessentially pro-social attitude<br />

to judg<strong>in</strong>g, one which attempts to enhance an <strong>of</strong>fender’s personal autonomy and<br />

responsibility via a:<br />

“respectful and proactive engagement with people <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> the court<br />

process … [that] pay[s] attention to their needs, rather than a neutral but<br />

mechanical and unsatisfy<strong>in</strong>g clos<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> files”. 139<br />

The underly<strong>in</strong>g assumption is that address<strong>in</strong>g therapeutic jurisprudence issues also<br />

addresses, by way <strong>of</strong> cause and effect, the crim<strong>in</strong>al justice concern <strong>of</strong> recidivism.<br />

Deputy Chief Magistrate (Vic) Jelana Popovic puts it this way:<br />

“The sentenc<strong>in</strong>g pr<strong>in</strong>ciple <strong>of</strong> ‘specific deterrence’ has taken on a new<br />

guise; we are now focus<strong>in</strong>g on reduc<strong>in</strong>g harm to the community by<br />

address<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>dividual factors which have led to <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> an attempt<br />

to prevent or reduce the recurrence <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g.” 140<br />

However, <strong>in</strong> order for therapeutic jurisprudence <strong>in</strong>itiatives to be accepted without<br />

reservation, they must ultimately be evaluated on the basis <strong>of</strong> measurable<br />

therapeutic and crim<strong>in</strong>al justice outcomes. 141<br />

137 The Hon W Mart<strong>in</strong> (Chief Justice <strong>of</strong> Western Australia), “After D<strong>in</strong>ner Address”, Third International<br />

Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence, 7 June 2006, Perth, Western Australia, available at:<br />

,<br />

accessed 6/11/2007.<br />

138 A Freiberg, op cit n 98 at 211 notes that there are “over a thousand articles, many books and<br />

more than 20 special issues <strong>of</strong> journals on the topic”. See also G Re<strong>in</strong>hardt and A Cannon (eds),<br />

Transform<strong>in</strong>g Legal Processes <strong>in</strong> Court and Beyond: A Collection <strong>of</strong> Refereed papers from the<br />

3rd International Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence, 7–9 June 2006, Perth, Australasian<br />

Institute <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong> Adm<strong>in</strong>istration, 2007, Melbourne.<br />

139 A Cannon, “Therapeutic jurisprudence <strong>in</strong> courts: Some issues <strong>of</strong> practice and pr<strong>in</strong>ciple”, (2007)<br />

16 Journal <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong> Adm<strong>in</strong>istration 256 at 258.<br />

140 J Popovic, op cit n 22.<br />

141 On issues concern<strong>in</strong>g the evaluation <strong>of</strong> therapeutic <strong>in</strong>itiatives, see L Roberts and D Indermaur<br />

“Key challenges <strong>in</strong> evaluat<strong>in</strong>g therapeutic jurisprudence <strong>in</strong>itiatives” (2007) 17 Journal <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong><br />

Adm<strong>in</strong>istration 60.<br />

30


Divert<strong>in</strong>g mentally disordered defendants <strong>in</strong> the NSW Local Court<br />

The resources debate and s 32<br />

Magistrates respond<strong>in</strong>g to our survey were concerned about the utility <strong>of</strong> s 32 be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

underm<strong>in</strong>ed by a lack <strong>of</strong> mental health care resources. 142<br />

Without adequate mental health care resources, the flow <strong>of</strong> mentally disordered<br />

accused appear<strong>in</strong>g before the courts will likely cont<strong>in</strong>ue — if not <strong>in</strong>crease — and the<br />

effectiveness <strong>of</strong> <strong>in</strong>itiatives such as s 32 will rema<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> doubt.<br />

As Bernste<strong>in</strong> and Seltzer note:<br />

“No diversion or alternative disposition program … can be effective unless<br />

the services and supports that <strong>in</strong>dividuals with … mental illnesses need<br />

to live <strong>in</strong> the community are available. Moreover, it is critical that these<br />

services exist <strong>in</strong> the community for everyone, not just <strong>of</strong>fenders, and that<br />

supports not be withdrawn from others <strong>in</strong> need and merely redirected<br />

to those who have come <strong>in</strong> contact with the crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system.<br />

Additional, specialized resources and programs are needed to reduce the<br />

risk <strong>of</strong> arrest for people with mental illnesses and the recidivism <strong>of</strong> those<br />

who have encountered the crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system.” 143<br />

Resources should also provide for adequate data and data analysis. Presently,<br />

attempts to evaluate s 32 are hampered by the lack <strong>of</strong> data on treatment progress and<br />

the questionable data on breaches. Provid<strong>in</strong>g magistrates with <strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion concern<strong>in</strong>g<br />

the progress <strong>of</strong> defendants subject to s 32 orders and whether s 32 orders are<br />

breached would be an <strong>in</strong>itial improvement <strong>of</strong> considerable magnitude — one which<br />

would enable all future decisions concern<strong>in</strong>g s 32 to be approached empirically.<br />

A failure to provide adequate resources for s 32, if proved, consigns the policy<br />

objectives beh<strong>in</strong>d s 32 to the level <strong>of</strong> rhetoric, denies the rights and dignity <strong>of</strong><br />

mentally disordered persons, and represents an ongo<strong>in</strong>g failure on the part <strong>of</strong> a<br />

privileged society to care for some <strong>of</strong> its most vulnerable members. This state <strong>of</strong><br />

affairs is undesirable for all those concerned — magistrates, mentally disordered<br />

persons and the community.<br />

The concerns expressed by magistrates <strong>in</strong> the survey — particularly those about<br />

<strong>in</strong>sufficient mental health, care services, <strong>in</strong>adequate feedback on treatment outcomes<br />

and breaches — may be mak<strong>in</strong>g some reluctant to utilise the section. Put simply, a lack<br />

<strong>of</strong> resources will underm<strong>in</strong>e the policy objectives expressed by the Parliament <strong>in</strong> s 32. 144<br />

142 For <strong>in</strong>stance, Respondents 30 and 12 mentioned a lack <strong>of</strong> resources <strong>in</strong> rural areas; Respondent<br />

24 mentioned this issue <strong>in</strong> the context <strong>of</strong> community health services not hav<strong>in</strong>g the resources<br />

necessary to produce an adequate treatment plan; Respondent 13 asked, if a person with<br />

limited capacity is not supported by appropriate services, due to a lack <strong>of</strong> resources, why should<br />

they be breached? Respondent 24 mentioned the need for more resources for all mental health<br />

issues. The magistrates’ comments po<strong>in</strong>t to regional <strong>in</strong>equity and a general lack <strong>of</strong> enforceability,<br />

accountability and mental health care resources.<br />

143 R Bernste<strong>in</strong> and T Seltzer, op cit n 27 at 147.<br />

144 See the discussion on p 3 about <strong>in</strong>sufficient mental health resources, as raised by the Legislative<br />

Council Select Committee on Mental Health, op cit n 16.<br />

31


Appendix 1: Text <strong>of</strong> ss 32 and 32A<br />

32 – Persons suffer<strong>in</strong>g from mental illness or condition<br />

(1) If, at the commencement or at any time dur<strong>in</strong>g the course <strong>of</strong> the hear<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> proceed<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

before a Magistrate, it appears to the Magistrate:<br />

(a) that the defendant is (or was at the time <strong>of</strong> the alleged commission <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fence to<br />

which the proceed<strong>in</strong>gs relate):<br />

(i) developmentally disabled, or<br />

(ii) suffer<strong>in</strong>g from mental illness, or<br />

(iii) suffer<strong>in</strong>g from a mental condition for which treatment is available <strong>in</strong> a mental health<br />

facility,<br />

but is not a mentally ill person, and<br />

(b) that, on an outl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>of</strong> the facts alleged <strong>in</strong> the proceed<strong>in</strong>gs or such other evidence as<br />

the Magistrate may consider relevant, it would be more appropriate to deal with the<br />

defendant <strong>in</strong> accordance with the provisions <strong>of</strong> this Part than otherwise <strong>in</strong> accordance<br />

with law,<br />

the Magistrate may take the action set out <strong>in</strong> subsection (2) or (3).<br />

(2) The Magistrate may do any one or more <strong>of</strong> the follow<strong>in</strong>g:<br />

(a) adjourn the proceed<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

(b) grant the defendant bail <strong>in</strong> accordance with the Bail Act 1978,<br />

(c) make any other order that the Magistrate considers appropriate.<br />

(3) The Magistrate may make an order dismiss<strong>in</strong>g the charge and discharge the defendant:<br />

(a) <strong>in</strong>to the care <strong>of</strong> a responsible person, unconditionally or subject to conditions, or<br />

(b) on the condition that the defendant attend on a person or at a place specified by the<br />

Magistrate for assessment <strong>of</strong> the defendant’s mental condition or treatment or both, or<br />

(c) unconditionally.<br />

(3A) If a Magistrate suspects that a defendant subject to an order under subsection (3) may have<br />

failed to comply with a condition under that subsection, the Magistrate may, with<strong>in</strong> 6 months<br />

<strong>of</strong> the order be<strong>in</strong>g made, call on the defendant to appear before the Magistrate.<br />

(3B) If the defendant fails to appear, the Magistrate may:<br />

(a) issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest, or<br />

(b) authorise an authorised <strong>of</strong>ficer with<strong>in</strong> the mean<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> the Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure Act 1986 to<br />

issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.<br />

(3C) If, however, at the time the Magistrate proposes to call on a defendant referred to <strong>in</strong><br />

subsection (3A) to appear before the Magistrate, the Magistrate is satisfied that the location<br />

<strong>of</strong> the defendant is unknown, the Magistrate may immediately:<br />

(a) issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest, or<br />

(b) authorise an authorised <strong>of</strong>ficer with<strong>in</strong> the mean<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> the Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure Act 1986 to<br />

issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.<br />

(3D) If a Magistrate discharges a defendant subject to a condition under subsection (3), and the<br />

defendant fails to comply with the condition with<strong>in</strong> 6 months <strong>of</strong> the discharge, the Magistrate<br />

may deal with the charge as if the defendant had not been discharged.<br />

(4) A decision under this section to dismiss charges aga<strong>in</strong>st a defendant does not constitute a<br />

f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g that the charges aga<strong>in</strong>st the defendant are proven or otherwise.<br />

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<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

(4A) A Magistrate is to state the reasons for mak<strong>in</strong>g a decision as to whether or not a defendant<br />

should be dealt with under subsection (2) or (3).<br />

(4B) A failure to comply with subsection (4A) does not <strong>in</strong>validate any decision <strong>of</strong> a Magistrate<br />

under this section.<br />

(5) The regulations may prescribe the form <strong>of</strong> an order under this section.<br />

32A – Reports from treatment providers<br />

(1) Despite any law, a person who is to assess another person’s mental condition or provide<br />

treatment to another person <strong>in</strong> accordance with an order under section 32(3) (a “treatment<br />

provider”) may <strong>report</strong> a failure to comply with a condition <strong>of</strong> the order by the other person to<br />

any <strong>of</strong> the follow<strong>in</strong>g:<br />

(a) an <strong>of</strong>ficer <strong>of</strong> Community Offender Services, Probation and Parole Service,<br />

(b) an <strong>of</strong>ficer <strong>of</strong> the Department <strong>of</strong> Juvenile Justice,<br />

(c) any other person or body prescribed by the regulations.<br />

(2) A treatment provider may <strong>in</strong>clude <strong>in</strong> a <strong>report</strong> under this section any <strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion that the<br />

treatment provider considers is relevant to the mak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> a decision <strong>in</strong> relation to the failure<br />

to comply concerned.<br />

(3) A <strong>report</strong> provided under this section is to be <strong>in</strong> the form approved for the time be<strong>in</strong>g by the<br />

Director-General <strong>of</strong> the Attorney General’s Department.<br />

34


Appendix 2<br />

Persons suffer<strong>in</strong>g from mental illness or condition<br />

Questionnaire<br />

Dear Magistrate,<br />

The Research Division is writ<strong>in</strong>g an issues paper about s 32 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health Crim<strong>in</strong>al<br />

Procedure Act 1990 — Persons suffer<strong>in</strong>g from mental illness or condition. The text <strong>of</strong> 32 and<br />

the research proposal approved by the <strong>Commission</strong> is attached. Part <strong>of</strong> the paper will raise for<br />

discussion some <strong>of</strong> the practical issues and problems faced by Magistrates <strong>in</strong> implement<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

policy beh<strong>in</strong>d s 32.<br />

The questions set out below ask your views about the language <strong>of</strong> the section; the circumstances<br />

when you have used the section; whether you f<strong>in</strong>d the parties assist <strong>in</strong> both the hear<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

breach proceed<strong>in</strong>gs; and more generally whether the section is effective, ie., have you found<br />

defendants breach and/or reappear <strong>in</strong> your Court on other matters.<br />

… your answers will be kept strictly confidential and you will not be identified or quoted <strong>in</strong> the<br />

paper (unless you really want to be).<br />

To complete the questionnaire just press reply and type <strong>in</strong> your answers where <strong>in</strong>dicated (delete<br />

the dotted l<strong>in</strong>es if necessary). For select<strong>in</strong>g between alternative responses, either underl<strong>in</strong>e the<br />

word you want to select or delete the words you do not want to select. If a particular question is<br />

not relevant to you, just <strong>in</strong>dicate “n/a”. After you have completed the questionnaire, please email it<br />

to survey@judcom.nsw.gov.au. Your reply will be sent to Hugh Donnelly, Act<strong>in</strong>g Research Director,<br />

<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> NSW. The due date for replies is Monday 16 April.<br />

Hugh Donnelly,<br />

Act<strong>in</strong>g Research Director<br />

35


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

1 The Court <strong>of</strong> Appeal <strong>in</strong> DPP v Mawas [2006] NSWCA 154 at [75]–[80] held that s 32 requires<br />

a magistrate to make three decisions: firstly, <strong>in</strong> accordance with s 32(1)(a), whether the<br />

defendant is eligible to be dealt with under the section (a f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> fact); secondly, whether,<br />

hav<strong>in</strong>g regard to the facts alleged or such other evidence as the magistrate considers<br />

relevant, it would be more appropriate to deal with the defendant under s 32 than otherwise<br />

<strong>in</strong> accordance with law. That decision <strong>in</strong>volves a discretionary judgment with due regard to<br />

the seriousness <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g conduct. Thirdly, once the magistrate determ<strong>in</strong>es that it is<br />

more appropriate to deal with the defendant <strong>in</strong> accordance with s 32, the magistrate must<br />

decide which <strong>of</strong> the actions outl<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>in</strong> s 32(2)–(3) should be taken.<br />

Is the language <strong>of</strong> the section and related case law easy or difficult to apply on a scale <strong>of</strong> 1<br />

very easy, 2 easy, 3 reasonable, 4 difficult or 5 very difficult?<br />

2 Any other comments about DPP v Mawas [2006] NSWCA 154 at [75]–[80]?<br />

3 Do you have any suggestions about to the word<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> s 32?<br />

4 Breach proceed<strong>in</strong>gs can only be taken up to 6 months after a conditional discharge (s<br />

32(3D)). Is 6 months long enough?<br />

5 R v McMahon [2006] NSWDC 81 raised issues about the <strong>in</strong>tersection between a defendant’s<br />

mental health and their use <strong>of</strong> “ice” (crystal methamphetam<strong>in</strong>e hydrochloride). Do you th<strong>in</strong>k<br />

s 32 is a suitable mechanism for deal<strong>in</strong>g with <strong>of</strong>fenders whose <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g may be attributable<br />

to their ice use?<br />

6 If it appears to a Magistrate that a defendant may be unfit to stand trial, should the<br />

magistrate be able to refer the person to the District Court for a fitness hear<strong>in</strong>g?<br />

7 Have you had cause to use s 32 orders?<br />

Never Occasionally Frequently<br />

8 If “Never” … Why not?<br />

9 If “Occasionally” or “Frequently” … Why did you use them?<br />

10 For what types <strong>of</strong> crimes have you used them?<br />

11 For what types <strong>of</strong> crimes have you decl<strong>in</strong>ed to use them?<br />

12 For what types <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fender did you use them?<br />

13 Is early <strong>in</strong>tervention <strong>in</strong> mental health issues an important consideration <strong>in</strong> decid<strong>in</strong>g whether<br />

or not to issue a s 32 order?<br />

14 Are your s 32 orders typically by consent or contested?<br />

15 Are s 32 applications ord<strong>in</strong>arily made by Legal Aid?<br />

16 McColl JA said <strong>in</strong> DPP v Mawas [2006] NSWCA 154 at [24] that “<strong>in</strong> exercis<strong>in</strong>g the Pt 3<br />

jurisdiction, the Magistrate is given powers <strong>of</strong> an <strong>in</strong>quisitorial or adm<strong>in</strong>istrative nature to<br />

<strong>in</strong>form herself or himself as the Magistrate th<strong>in</strong>ks fit”. Have you had cause to use that power<br />

to order a <strong>report</strong> or where the parties have not assisted?<br />

17 Are the diagnostic and treatment <strong>report</strong>s authored by service providers prepared to an<br />

adequate standard?<br />

36


Appendix 2 — Questionnaire<br />

18 Do you feel well supported by the treatment providers <strong>in</strong>volved with the s 32 process?<br />

Always Usually Usually not Never<br />

please expla<strong>in</strong> your response<br />

19 Do you feel well supported by the:<br />

– Prosecution? Always Usually Usually not Never<br />

– Defence (<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Legal aid)? Always Usually Usually not Never<br />

– Police? Always Usually Usually not Never<br />

– Mental Health pr<strong>of</strong>essionals? Always Usually Usually not Never<br />

please expla<strong>in</strong> your response<br />

20 What factors determ<strong>in</strong>e whether you breach an <strong>of</strong>fender or take no action?<br />

21 Committ<strong>in</strong>g further <strong>of</strong>fences does not automatically result <strong>in</strong> a breach <strong>of</strong> a conditional<br />

discharge order s<strong>in</strong>ce a breach must result from a failure <strong>of</strong> an accused to comply with set<br />

conditions. How do you deal with further <strong>of</strong>fend<strong>in</strong>g?<br />

21 Are the breach <strong>report</strong>s prepared by Probation and Parole adequate?<br />

Always Usually Usually not Never<br />

22 When you used s 32 orders, were they usually effective <strong>in</strong> terms <strong>of</strong> desired outcomes?<br />

Yes Unsure No<br />

please expla<strong>in</strong> your response<br />

23 Have you found that persons subject to s 32 re-appear <strong>in</strong> later proceed<strong>in</strong>gs?<br />

Always Usually Usually not Never<br />

24 Do the 2004 amendments that made s 32 orders enforceable for six months work?<br />

Yes Unsure No<br />

please expla<strong>in</strong> your response<br />

25 Do you have any other suggestions to improve the current state <strong>of</strong> the law?<br />

37


Bibliography<br />

Articles<br />

R Bernste<strong>in</strong> and T Seltzer, “Crim<strong>in</strong>alization <strong>of</strong> People with Mental Illnesses: The Role <strong>of</strong> Mental<br />

Health Courts <strong>in</strong> System Reform” (2003) 7 UDCL Rev 143<br />

T Butler et al, “Mental Disorders <strong>in</strong> Australian Prisoners: A Comparison with a Community Sample”<br />

(2006) 40 Australian and <strong>New</strong> Zealand Journal <strong>of</strong> Psychiatry 272<br />

A Cannon, “Therapeutic jurisprudence <strong>in</strong> courts: Some issues <strong>of</strong> practice and pr<strong>in</strong>ciple”, (2007) 16<br />

Journal <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong> Adm<strong>in</strong>istration 256 at 258<br />

T Carney, D Tait, D Chappell, F Beaupert, “Mental Health Tribunals: ‘TJ’ Implications <strong>of</strong> Weigh<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Fairness, Freedom, Protection and Treatment” (2007) 17 Journal <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong> Adm<strong>in</strong>istration 46<br />

C Jones and S Crawford, “The psychosocial needs <strong>of</strong> NSW court defendants” (2007) 108 Crime<br />

and Justice Bullet<strong>in</strong> 1<br />

A Freiberg, “Non-adversarial approaches to crim<strong>in</strong>al justice” (2007) 16(4) Journal <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong><br />

Adm<strong>in</strong>istration 205 at 217<br />

D Greenberg and B Nielson, “Mov<strong>in</strong>g Towards a Statewide Approach to Court Diversion Services<br />

<strong>in</strong> NSW” (2003) 14(11–12) NSW Public Health Bullet<strong>in</strong> 227<br />

M K<strong>in</strong>g, “Afterword”, (2006) Murdoch University Electronic Journal <strong>of</strong> Law, Special Series: The<br />

Therapeutic Role <strong>of</strong> Magistrates’ Courts 1<br />

M K<strong>in</strong>g and K Auty, “Therapeutic Jurisprudence: An Emerg<strong>in</strong>g Trend <strong>in</strong> Courts <strong>of</strong> Summary<br />

Jurisdiction” (2005) 30(2) Alt LJ 69<br />

D McNiel and R B<strong>in</strong>der, “Effectiveness <strong>of</strong> a Mental Health Court <strong>in</strong> Reduc<strong>in</strong>g Crim<strong>in</strong>al Recidivism<br />

and Violence” (2007) 164: 9 AMJ Psychiatry 1395.<br />

L Roberts and D Indermaur “Key challenges <strong>in</strong> evaluat<strong>in</strong>g therapeutic jurisprudence <strong>in</strong>itiatives”<br />

(2007) 17 Journal <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong> Adm<strong>in</strong>istration 60<br />

M Spiers “Summary Disposal <strong>of</strong> Crim<strong>in</strong>al Offences under s 32 Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure)<br />

Act 1990” (2004) 16(2) <strong>Judicial</strong> Officers’ Bullet<strong>in</strong> 9<br />

L Tepl<strong>in</strong>, “Keep<strong>in</strong>g the Peace: Police Discretion and Mentally ill Persons”, (2000) (July) National<br />

Institute <strong>of</strong> Justice Journal at 12<br />

T Walsh, “The Queensland Special Circumstances Court” (2007) 16 Journal <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong><br />

Adm<strong>in</strong>istration 223<br />

39


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Books & Reports<br />

G Andrews, W Hall, M Teesson and S Henderson, The Mental Health <strong>of</strong> Australians, 1999,<br />

Commonwealth Department <strong>of</strong> Health and Aged Care, Canberra<br />

Alleged Offenders with An Intellectual Disability In the Local Courts: Brief<strong>in</strong>g Paper on Draft Report,<br />

2007, Intellectual Disability Rights Service, Sydney<br />

Australian Crime: Facts and Figures, 2006, Australian Institute <strong>of</strong> Crim<strong>in</strong>ology, Canberra<br />

T Butler and S Allnut, Mental Illness Among <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Prisoners, 2003, NSW Corrections<br />

Health Service, Sydney<br />

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual <strong>of</strong> Mental Disorders, Fourth Ed, Text Revision (DSM-IV), 2000,<br />

American Psychiatric Association, Wash<strong>in</strong>gton DC<br />

D Howard and B Westmore, Crime and Mental Health Law <strong>in</strong> NSW: A Practical Guide for Lawyers<br />

and Mental Health Pr<strong>of</strong>essionals, 2005, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, p 430<br />

J La<strong>in</strong>g, Care or Custody? Mentally Disordered Offenders <strong>in</strong> the Crim<strong>in</strong>al Justice System, 1999,<br />

Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 163–166<br />

Legislative Council, Select Committee on Mental Health, Mental Health Services <strong>in</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong><br />

<strong>Wales</strong>: F<strong>in</strong>al Report, 2002, NSW Parliament (Legislative Council), Sydney<br />

Local Court Bench Book, 2004, <strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>, Sydney<br />

Local Court <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Annual Review 2004, 2004, Office <strong>of</strong> the Chief Magistrate,<br />

Sydney<br />

Local Court <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Annual Review 2005, 2005, Office <strong>of</strong> the Chief Magistrate,<br />

Sydney<br />

Local Court <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Annual Review 2006, 2006, Office <strong>of</strong> the Chief Magistrate,<br />

Sydney<br />

G Re<strong>in</strong>hardt and A Cannon (eds), Transform<strong>in</strong>g Legal Processes <strong>in</strong> Court and Beyond: A Collection<br />

<strong>of</strong> Refereed papers from the 3rd International Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence, 7–9 June<br />

2006, Perth, 2007, Australasian Institute <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong> Adm<strong>in</strong>istration, Melbourne<br />

Report 80: People with an Intellectual Disability and the Crim<strong>in</strong>al Justice System, 1996, <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong><br />

<strong>Wales</strong> Law Reform <strong>Commission</strong>, Sydney, 25–32<br />

Richmond Report: Inquiry <strong>in</strong>to Health Services for the Psychiatrically Ill and Developmentally<br />

Disabled (Vols 1–6), 1983, NSW Department <strong>of</strong> Health, Sydney<br />

S Roach Anleu and K Mack, “Australian Magistrates, Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Social<br />

Change”, Transform<strong>in</strong>g Legal Processes <strong>in</strong> Court and Beyond: A Collection <strong>of</strong> Refereed papers<br />

from the 3rd International Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence, 7–9 June 2006, Perth, 2007,<br />

Australasian Institute <strong>of</strong> <strong>Judicial</strong> Adm<strong>in</strong>istration, Melbourne<br />

G Skrzypiec, J Wundersitz, and H McRostie, Magistrates Court Diversion Program: An Analysis <strong>of</strong><br />

Post-Program Offend<strong>in</strong>g, 2004, Office <strong>of</strong> Crime Statistics and Research, Adelaide<br />

40


Bibliography<br />

MD Spiegler and DC Guevremont, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (4th Ed), 2003, Wadsworth<br />

Belmont, California, USA<br />

J White, A Day and L Hackett, Writ<strong>in</strong>g Reports for Court: A Practical Guide for Psychologists<br />

Work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Forensic Contexts, 2007, Australian Academic Press, Brisbane<br />

Conference papers & presentations<br />

L Babb, “<strong>New</strong> Mental Health Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedures <strong>in</strong> 2006”, paper presented at the NSW Young<br />

Lawyers Cont<strong>in</strong>u<strong>in</strong>g Legal Education Sem<strong>in</strong>ar, “Recent Developments <strong>in</strong> Mental Health Crim<strong>in</strong>al<br />

Procedure”, 10 May 2006, Sydney<br />

L Douglas, C O’Neill, D Greenberg, “Does court mandated outpatient treatment <strong>of</strong> mentally ill<br />

<strong>of</strong>fenders reduce crim<strong>in</strong>al recidivism? A case-control study”, <strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong><br />

<strong>Wales</strong>, Local Court Annual Conference, 2006, Sydney<br />

D Greenberg, “Mental Health and Crim<strong>in</strong>al Justice Sem<strong>in</strong>ar”, Crim<strong>in</strong>al Justice Research Network,<br />

7 September 2006, Sydney<br />

M K<strong>in</strong>g, “Problem-Solv<strong>in</strong>g Court Programs <strong>in</strong> Western Australia”, paper presented at the<br />

Sentenc<strong>in</strong>g: Pr<strong>in</strong>ciples, Perspectives and Possibilities conference, 10–12 February 2006, Canberra<br />

W Mart<strong>in</strong>, “After D<strong>in</strong>ner Address”, Third International Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence,<br />

7 June 2006, Perth, Western Australia<br />

J Popovic, “Mean<strong>in</strong>gless vs Mean<strong>in</strong>gful Sentences: Sentenc<strong>in</strong>g the Unsentenceable”, paper<br />

presented at the Sentenc<strong>in</strong>g: Pr<strong>in</strong>ciples, Perspectives and Possibilities conference,<br />

10–12 February 2006, Canberra<br />

A Robilliard, “Section 32 <strong>of</strong> the Mental Health Act”, paper presented at the <strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong>, Local Court Annual Conference, 2006, Sydney,<br />

Second Read<strong>in</strong>g speeches<br />

The Hon P Coll<strong>in</strong>s, “Mental Health Bill, Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Bill and Miscellaneous<br />

Acts (Mental Health) Repeal and Amendment Bill”, <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Parliamentary Debates<br />

(Hansard), Legislative Assembly, 22/3/1990, p 884<br />

The Hon T Kelly, “Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Amendment Bill”, <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), Legislative Council, 29/11/2005, p 20085<br />

Websites & Television<br />

Justice Health NSW: Community and Court Liaison Service<br />

Magistrates’ Courts <strong>of</strong> <strong>South</strong> Australia: Court Diversion Program<br />

Magistrates’ Court <strong>of</strong> Tasmania: Mental Health Diversion List<br />

Magistrates’ Courts <strong>of</strong> Victoria: Mental Health Court Liaison Service<br />

ABC’s 7:30 Report (17/9/2007)<br />

41


Table <strong>of</strong> cases<br />

Table <strong>of</strong> cases<br />

Carr v The State <strong>of</strong> Western Australia (2007) 239 ALR 415; [2007] HCA 47, 16<br />

Coal and Allied Operations Pty Ltd v Australian Industrial Relations <strong>Commission</strong> [2000] HCA 47, 12<br />

Confos v Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions [2004] NSWSC 1159, vii, 12, 13<br />

Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v Albon [2000] NSWSC 896, viii, 16<br />

Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions v El Mawas (2006) 66 NSWLR 93; [2006] NSWCA 154, vi, vii, 10, 11, 12, 14, 21<br />

El Mawas v Director <strong>of</strong> Public Prosecutions [2005] NSWSC 243, 13<br />

House v The K<strong>in</strong>g (1936) 55 CLR 499, vi, 12<br />

Mackie v Hunt (1989) 19 NSWLR 130, viii, 23<br />

Mantell v Molyneux (2006) 68 NSWLR 46; [2006] NSWSC 955, v, vi, vii, viii, 5, 14, 15, 16, 23<br />

M<strong>in</strong>ister for Corrective Services v Harris (unrep, 10/7/87, NSWSC), 14<br />

Ngatayi v The Queen (1980) 147 CLR 1, viii<br />

Perry v Forbes (unrep, 21/5/93, NSWSC), viii, 17, 22, 23<br />

Police v Deng [2008] NSWLC 2, 5, 25<br />

R v Engert (1995) 84 A Crim R 67, 1<br />

R v JS [2007] NSWCCA 272, 16<br />

R v Lawrence [2005] NSWCCA 91, 26<br />

R v Mailes (2001) 53 NSWLR 251; [2001] NSWCCA 155, 10<br />

R v Morris (unrep, 14/7/95, NSWCCA), v<br />

Wentworth Securities Ltd v Jones [1980] AC 74, 16<br />

Worrall v Commercial Bank<strong>in</strong>g Co <strong>of</strong> Sydney Ltd (1917) 24 CLR 28; [1917] HCA 67, 16<br />

43


Index<br />

Index<br />

A<br />

Asperger’s disorder, 26<br />

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, 26<br />

Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), 5<br />

Autistic disorders, 26<br />

B<br />

Breaches<br />

breach provision, 15, 21<br />

<strong>report</strong><strong>in</strong>g process on, need to establish, 20<br />

s 32 orders, effect <strong>of</strong>, 29<br />

survey on, 20<br />

2004–2006 table, 20<br />

unavailability <strong>of</strong> data on, 20–21<br />

Bureau <strong>of</strong> Crime Statistics and Research study<br />

NSW Local Courts, survey <strong>of</strong>, v, 1<br />

C<br />

Communication disorders, 26<br />

Conditional order, 15, 16<br />

breach <strong>of</strong>, 19–22<br />

Commonwealth counterpart, 15<br />

maximum permissible duration <strong>of</strong>, 15<br />

Crimes Act 1914 (Cth)<br />

Commonwealth equivalent <strong>of</strong> s 32, 21<br />

Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) s 428M<br />

s 32 previously found <strong>in</strong>, 9<br />

Crim<strong>in</strong>al justice system<br />

diversion from, 1<br />

<strong>of</strong>fender-based <strong>in</strong>tervention, 2<br />

Crim<strong>in</strong>al proceed<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

applicable to, 11<br />

D<br />

Discretion, 11, 12<br />

appeal, challenged on, 12<br />

appropriateness, decisions concern<strong>in</strong>g, 13<br />

breadth <strong>of</strong>, 11<br />

eligibility, decisions concern<strong>in</strong>g, 13<br />

<strong>in</strong>quisitorial powers, 12<br />

matters taken <strong>in</strong>to account, 13<br />

seriousness <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fence, 13<br />

six-month enforceability limit <strong>of</strong> orders, 14<br />

treatment plan, existence and content <strong>of</strong>, 14<br />

outcome, decisions concern<strong>in</strong>g, 12, 13<br />

“two-fold test”, 11, 12<br />

unfitness to be tried, and s 32, 22<br />

Douglas, O’Neill and Greenberg trial<br />

<strong>in</strong>to efficacy <strong>of</strong> s 32 orders, 28<br />

E<br />

Enforceability<br />

Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2002,<br />

amendments, 19<br />

six-month period, 14–16, 19, 21<br />

Commonwealth equivalent, 21<br />

Greenberg, Pr<strong>of</strong>essor, comments on, 22<br />

F<br />

Freiberg, A, 29<br />

Future directions<br />

s 32, therapeutic evaluation <strong>of</strong>, 29<br />

G<br />

Greenberg, Pr<strong>of</strong>essor,<br />

observations on <strong>of</strong>fender behaviour, 22<br />

cl<strong>in</strong>ical trial on s 32, 28<br />

I<br />

Inquiry <strong>in</strong>to Health Services for the Psychiatrically<br />

Ill and Developmentally Disabled see Richmond<br />

Report<br />

Intellectual disability, 26<br />

Interlocutory orders, 14, 15<br />

L<br />

Learn<strong>in</strong>g disorders, 26<br />

Legislative Council’s Select Committee on Mental<br />

Health, F<strong>in</strong>al Report, ix, 3, 31<br />

mental health care, decentralisation, 2, 3<br />

Local Court, <strong>in</strong>novation and, 8–9<br />

M<br />

Magistrates<br />

<strong>in</strong>quisitorial powers, 12<br />

Mental condition<br />

def<strong>in</strong>ition, 27, 28<br />

recorded <strong>in</strong>cidences <strong>of</strong>, <strong>in</strong> NSW, 2<br />

Mental disorders<br />

alleviation, 22<br />

accountability, 22<br />

<strong>in</strong>centives, 22<br />

treatment plans see Treatment plans<br />

categorisation <strong>of</strong>, three part, 26<br />

cognitive deficits, coverage <strong>of</strong>, 27<br />

complexity <strong>of</strong>, 25, 26<br />

def<strong>in</strong>ed, how should be, viii, 25<br />

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual <strong>of</strong> Mental<br />

Disorders (DSM-IV), 25<br />

disorders first diagnosed <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>fancy, childhood or<br />

adolescence, 26<br />

nature <strong>of</strong>, 24–27<br />

nature <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fences committed by sufferers <strong>of</strong>, 5–7, 24<br />

pervasive developmental disorders, 26<br />

prevalence <strong>of</strong>, <strong>in</strong> NSW, 2<br />

recorded <strong>in</strong>cidence <strong>of</strong>, <strong>in</strong> NSW, 2<br />

s 32 criteria, 24–27<br />

developmentally disabled, 26<br />

suffer<strong>in</strong>g from condition for which treatment<br />

available <strong>in</strong> a mental health care facility, 27–28<br />

“serious” and “connected”, 25<br />

Mental Health Act 1990<br />

commencement, 9<br />

Second Read<strong>in</strong>g Speech, 9<br />

s 4(2)(a) and (b), 10<br />

Mental Health Act 2007<br />

mental health facility, for which treatment is<br />

available <strong>in</strong>, 27–28<br />

mentally ill person, def<strong>in</strong>ition <strong>of</strong>, 1<br />

s 68, 10<br />

Mental health assessment<br />

defendant to obta<strong>in</strong>, 1, 4<br />

Mental health care<br />

community-based services, 3<br />

decentralisation <strong>of</strong>, 3, 10<br />

45


<strong>Judicial</strong> <strong>Commission</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong><br />

Mental health care facility<br />

def<strong>in</strong>ition, 27–28<br />

Mental Health (Crim<strong>in</strong>al Procedure) Act 1990 s 32 and<br />

32A<br />

amendment, 9<br />

Second Read<strong>in</strong>g Speech, 9, 10<br />

commencement, 9<br />

text <strong>of</strong>, 33, 34<br />

Mental health outcomes<br />

s 32 orders, effect <strong>of</strong>, on, 29<br />

Mental retardation, 27<br />

def<strong>in</strong>ition, 27<br />

Mentally disordered defendants<br />

diversion <strong>of</strong>, 1<br />

maximis<strong>in</strong>g personal development, 10<br />

protection <strong>of</strong> rights, 10<br />

responsibility for, 16<br />

progress <strong>of</strong>, 17, 20, 31<br />

sentenc<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong>, 1<br />

O<br />

Offences<br />

Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), 5<br />

nature <strong>of</strong>, 5, 23<br />

<strong>in</strong>jury, acts <strong>in</strong>tend<strong>in</strong>g to cause, 5<br />

<strong>of</strong>fences aga<strong>in</strong>st justice procedures, 5<br />

property damage and environmental<br />

pollution, 5<br />

public order <strong>of</strong>fences, 5<br />

theft and related <strong>of</strong>fences, 5<br />

2004–2006 table <strong>of</strong>, 6, 7<br />

seriousness <strong>of</strong>, 24<br />

Orders under s 32<br />

conditional discharges, 4<br />

care <strong>of</strong> responsible person, 4, 19<br />

discretion to make, 11<br />

see also Discretion<br />

duration, vii, 14<br />

failure to comply with, 19, 20<br />

feedback on, 19<br />

f<strong>in</strong>al, 14, 15<br />

<strong>in</strong>terlocutory, 14, 15<br />

matters taken <strong>in</strong>to account, 18<br />

“two-fold test”, 11, 12, 13<br />

number and nature <strong>of</strong>, vi, 3, 4<br />

2004–2006 table, 4<br />

<strong>of</strong>fences for which decl<strong>in</strong>ed to issue, 5<br />

unconditional discharges, 4<br />

P<br />

Pervasive developmental disorders<br />

DSM-IV def<strong>in</strong>ition, 26<br />

Pharmacotherapy<br />

advances <strong>in</strong>, 28<br />

Prisoners<br />

drugs and alcohol, 3<br />

<strong>in</strong>tellectual disability, 3<br />

mental health, 2<br />

psychiatric disorder, 3<br />

psychological distress, 2<br />

Prisons<br />

mental health, adverse effect on, 2<br />

prisoner population, mental health, 3<br />

Public <strong>in</strong>terest, 12<br />

R<br />

Recidivism<br />

crim<strong>in</strong>al justice concern <strong>of</strong>, 30<br />

s 32 orders, effect <strong>of</strong>, on, 28<br />

Resources<br />

adequate, failure to provide, 3, 31<br />

Bernste<strong>in</strong> and Seltzer, 31<br />

data and data analysis, provision for, 31<br />

utility <strong>of</strong> s 32 underm<strong>in</strong>ed by lack <strong>of</strong>, 31<br />

Rett’s disorder, 26<br />

Richmond Report, 3, 10<br />

recommendations, 10<br />

S<br />

Similar <strong>in</strong>itiatives, 5, 8<br />

<strong>in</strong>novation, 9<br />

“pragmatic <strong>in</strong>crementalism”, 8<br />

Statutory history, 1, 9<br />

Statutory objectives, 1, 31<br />

defendant, responsibility for, 16<br />

failure to comply with, 19<br />

guilt or <strong>in</strong>nocence, no f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g as to, 11<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>South</strong> <strong>Wales</strong> Law Reform <strong>Commission</strong>, 1<br />

<strong>of</strong>fenders, underly<strong>in</strong>g mental health issues, 5<br />

purpose, 11, 14, 15<br />

seriousness <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fence, role <strong>of</strong>, 13<br />

targeted application, 4<br />

time <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fence and proceed<strong>in</strong>gs, applicable to, 11<br />

Statutory scheme, 11<br />

Survey <strong>of</strong> magistrates<br />

open-ended questions, 1<br />

operation <strong>of</strong>, 1<br />

purpose <strong>of</strong>, 1<br />

response to, 1<br />

survey document, 35–37<br />

T<br />

Therapeutic response, 29<br />

therapeutic jurisprudence, 29, 30<br />

Traffic <strong>of</strong>fences<br />

s 32 orders, reluctant to issue, for, v, 5<br />

Treatment order<br />

failure to comply with, 19<br />

Treatment outcomes<br />

unavailability <strong>of</strong> data on, 19, 31<br />

Treatment plan<br />

adherence to, 22<br />

existence and content <strong>of</strong>, 14<br />

importance <strong>of</strong>, 16<br />

<strong>in</strong><strong>format</strong>ion required <strong>in</strong>, 17, 18<br />

need for, specific reference to, viii, 24<br />

non-compliance with condition <strong>of</strong>, v, 19<br />

requirement <strong>of</strong>, 16<br />

U<br />

Unfitness to be tried<br />

Magistrates to enterta<strong>in</strong> issue <strong>of</strong>, 23<br />

relationship between s 32 and, viii, 22<br />

W<br />

Warrant for arrest, 19<br />

46

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