The Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 commenced on September 1, 2023. The Law Handbook is updated annually, with the next update due in early 2024. In the meantime, for up-to-date information on the new Act, please visit the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 Handbook on the Department of Health’s website.


Lucy Carter

Lawyer, Mental Health Legal Centre

Mental Health Tribunal

What is the Mental Health Tribunal?

The Mental Health Tribunal (MHT) was established by the Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic) (‘MHA 2014’). The MHT is a statutory body that is independent from the mental health services. Its primary role is to decide whether a person requires compulsory mental health treatment.

The MHT must interpret all statutory provisions consistently with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) (‘Charter’), so far as that is possible and consistent with its purpose.

The MHT is considered to be a public authority under the Charter (except when acting in an administrative capacity). As a public authority, the MHT must act compatibly with Charter rights, unless it could not have acted otherwise.

What matters does the Mental Health Tribunal hear?

The MHT also conducts hearings in relation to:

  • whether electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) should be given;
  • security patients;
  • the transfer of a person’s treatment to another health service;
  • applications to perform neurosurgery for mental illness.

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Disability, mental illness and the law