Review of the Mental Health Review Tribunal in respect of forensic patients fact sheet 

Review of the operation of Mental Health Review Tribunal in respect of forensic patients discussion paper 

The Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Tanya Davies MP, has requested that NSW Health review the Mental Health Review Tribunal in respect of forensic patients.

The review will consider if current law, processes and procedures appropriately balance:

  • community safety
  • interests of victims and their families
  • care and treatment needs of forensic patients.

A final report will be provided to the Minister for Mental Health and the Attorney General in December 2017.

For more information, see the Terms of reference.


A public call for submissions is now open, and submissions are invited from interested individuals and organisation, including from victims; patients, and their families and carers; the health, legal and justice sectors; other stakeholders and interested members of the community.

A Discussion Paper has been prepared to support submissions. It provides information and commentary on each of the review’s four main areas:

  1. Do current law and operational processes and procedures of the Tribunal regarding leave and release decisions appropriately balance community safety, interests of victims, and the care and treatment needs of forensic patients?
  2. Are there options that can improve victim engagement with the Tribunal?
  3. Do the policy objectives prohibiting the publication of the name of any person in relation to a matter before the Tribunal remain valid?
  4. Are the criteria used to recruit members of the Tribunal appropriate?

Recognising the potential privacy and personal issues submissions may contain, they are being sought on a confidential basis and will not be made publically available on the website, unless authorisation is provided in the submission process.

The closing date for submissions is Friday, 6 October 2017.

How to make a submission

  1. Read the Discussion Paper
  2. Make a submission and enter your answers in the consultation portal.

The review

The review will be undertaken by the Hon Anthony Whealy QC, a lawyer and former judicial officer, known as the ‘Reviewer’, with appropriate administrative support. The review report and recommendations will draw on a broad range of information, including:

  • eight week call for public submissions
  • individual and group stakeholder consultations
  • best practice audit.


The Tribunal is a specialist quasi-judicial body established under the Mental Health Act 2007.

The Tribunal makes decisions about the detention, leave and release of forensic patients. Forensic patients are people who the Court has found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental illness, or found unfit to be tried.

The Tribunal generally reviews the case of each forensic patient at least once every six months.

More information

For more information see the Review of the Mental Health Review Tribunal in respect of forensic patients fact sheet or contact NSW Health’s Mental Health Branch at or on (02) 9391 9953.

Page Updated: Monday 28 August 2017
Page Owner: NSW Health