Developing Crisis: Injection despite new power of Tribunal

Now that the injunction protecting Saeed has been lifted, he is vulnerable to the threatened forced injection by the Forensic Hospital psychiatrists. In losing the injunction in the Supreme Court, Justice Action asked the Court to determine the extent of the Tribunal’s powers and responsibilities to control the hospital. A link to Lindsay J’s judgment on the case can be found here. [2014] NSWSC 31. Additionally, here is a commentary on Lindsay’s judgment.

 Lindsay J established “in aid of early preparations for a forthcoming review”, the Tribunal’s power over the mental health system, clearly endorsing that the best interests of the patient is the paramount consideration for the MHRT.

It is noteworthy that for the past two years, the hospital has not utilised their authority until now, and there is a gap before Saeed's next Review in March.



Despite the comments from Lindsay J, Dr. Rafe Pulley, the Justice Health psychiatrist at Long Bay Forensic Hospital called Brett (Saeed’s primary carer and legal tutor), telling him that forced injection of Saeed would happen on Tuesday February 18. He said that it was necessary before Saeed could be transferred to lower security.

Saeed has said that he will refuse all food, water and his heart medication if the authorities insist on forcibly injecting him with Zuclopenthixol, an antipsychotic drug that makes him feel sick and unable to think clearly amongst other side effects.

Justice Action has found this turn of events to be quite shocking. The best interests and rights of Saeed, as a person not disturbing anyone, are not being considered. They want to force him into submission by medication, as that is the NSW Health Department culture. He has become a symbol of resistance, and still the Tribunal and Supreme Court haven't been effective to stop it.


Justice Action has secured an undertaking from Tim Heffernan, Chair of the NSW Mental Health Consumer Worker Committee (CWC) to assist Saeed by providing two of their workers for support to de-escalate the tension. That approach is a basic principle of mental health treatment, but has been lost in the power play.

On 29th January 2014, Brett corresponded with Adrian Keller, Clinical Director at the Forensic and Long Bay Hospitals, urging that this undertaking secured by Justice Action be accepted. This proposal is now being discussed.


1 A (by his tutor Brett Collins) v Mental Health Review Tribunal (no 4) [2014] NSWSC 31 [2].


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