The Mental Health Act 2014 introduces various ways to uphold the rights of people with a mental illness, including statements of rights, supported decision making and the presumption that people have capacity to make decisions about their treatment and to give informed consent.

For people with more serious mental illness who may be subject to compulsory treatment, the Mental Health Tribunal is an independent statutory tribunal that protects and upholds people’s rights by determining whether compulsory mental health treatment criteria are met.

The tribunal also determines:

  • whether electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) can be performed on a compulsory patient if they are considered to not have capacity to give informed consent to ECT, or if they are under the age of 18
  • a variety of matters relating to security patients
  • transfers of treatment to other mental health services
  • applications to perform neurosurgery for mental illness.