United Nations Urges Mental Law Changes

"Local cases challenging forced medication of vulnerable patients in Australia, now have backing from the UN" said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins. 

"The UN Committee for Disability condemned Australia for forcibly medicating and detaining people affected by mental illness. Australia was the only country of the 79 that have ratified UNCRPD to reserve its right to forcibly medicate the disabled. It directly urged Australia to rethink its policies and to comply with international human rights standards" said Mr Collins.

“The Committee recommends that Australia should repeal all legislation that authorises medical interventions without free and informed consent of the persons with disabilities concerned…” - Concluding Observations on the initial report on Australia, adopted by the Committee at its tenth session (2-13 September 2013), para 34.

"The media has successfully challenged the secrecy of the area, with the ABC applying for the right to report on Saeed Dezfouli's hearings before the Mental Tribunal, Supreme Court and High Court of Australia, as well as Sydney City News investigative report pursuing it. After psychiatrists conflicted on whether it was "healthy" for Saeed to be able to use his name in his challenges, the Tribunal accepted on September 12 that it would cause damage to him and make him feel discriminated against to not retain his identity, and ordered the secrecy under s.162 to be lifted" said Mr Collins.              

"Other people in the community have now come out. Michael Riley for instance, is someone who is not afraid to reveal his story involving forced medication and compulsory detainment by health authorities. In a recent interview, Michael revealed that since being labeled as 'mentally ill' he has suffered constant abuse and has been treated as a criminal by the health system rather than have the support he deserves" said Mr Collins.

"Psychiatrists are also starting to speak up about the dangerous effects of forced medication. In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, psychiatrist Dr David Bell, said that the antipsychotic medication could, at the dosage recommended by the treating team, “damage the brain as well as producing the metabolic syndrome” (p 4) and “at that level it produces effects that can resemble mental illness such as schizophrenic psychosis” (p 4)" said Mr Collins.

Comments: Brett Collins 0438 705003


  • get involved2
  • donate
  • breakout-logo2



Justice Action
Trades Hall, Level 2, Suite 204
4 Goulburn Street
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

T 02 9283 0123
F 02 9283 0112
E ja@justiceaction.org.au
© 2017 Breakout Media Communications
breakout-logo  womens justice network icon logo-community