The Forensic Leave Panel is an independent statutory body established under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997. The Act came into effect on 18 April 1998 and governs the detention, management and release of persons found unfit to be tried or not guilty on the grounds of mental impairment.

The panel hears applications for certain types of limited off-ground leave from forensic patients and residents in approved mental health or residential services.

The panel first held hearings in June 1998 and since that time has continued to hear applications for leave on a monthly basis. The panel has continued to develop upon the solid foundations established since its inception.