Changes have been made to the Mental Health Act 2007 (the Act) via the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures—Miscellaneous) Act 2020 passed on 13 May 2020. The relevant provisions commenced the day after the Act was passed.
Section 203 was introduced, resulting in a key change relating to assessments to determine if ongoing detention is required under the Act. All examinations required under section 27 of the Act (including by an Accredited Person) may take place using audio-visual link (AVL) subject to certain safeguards. This function can only be exercised if it is considered necessary to do so because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This amendment will be in place until 30 June 2022.