The Mental Health Tribunal

The Mental Health Tribunal

The Mental Health Tribunal is not a part of a hospital or clinic. It is an independent tribunal that makes decisions about treatment orders and whether people can receive electroconvulsive treatment (ECT).

Although it has legal powers, it is not as formal as a court. It has members who are doctors, lawyers and community members.

If you disagree with the decision you can:

  • apply to the tribunal again later
  • take other legal action, such as getting a second opinion or applying to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

What the tribunal does

The Mental Health Tribunal can decide:

  • if you meet the criteria to receive compulsory treatment
  • if you should be on a community treatment order instead of an inpatient treatment order
  • to take you off a community, inpatient or temporary treatment order
  • the length of your treatment order
  • whether or not you meet the requirements for electroconvulsive treatment in certain cases.

Getting legal help at tribunal hearings

Victoria Legal Aid and the Mental Health Legal Centre may be able to provide with a laywer to represent you at the tribunal. You can call Victoria Legal Aid (1300 792 387) and the Mental Health Legal Centre (03 9629 4422), or ask an advocate to make a referral to them and they will contact you. This service is free.

Victoria Legal Aid has information on how Mental Health Tribunal hearings work.

You can also download Victoria Legal Aid's free publications:

Getting support from our advocates

If you prefer to represent yourself at the tribunal, our advocates can help you understand how the tribunal works, and give you information which will help you get ready to speak on your own behalf.

However, in most instances our advocates will not attend tribunal hearings with you. We do not provide legal representation or specific advice about how the law applies in your particular situation.

Find out more about how we can support you.