Victims of special patients (e.g. someone unfit to stand trial, found not guilty by reason of insanity, or someone receiving compulsory treatment) may be impacted by the current review of the Mental Health Act.
The Act has been criticised for allowing treatment to be imposed on a person even if they have the capacity to decide for themselves. Among questions for consideration in the review is whether mental health treatment should still be compulsory if a person has decision-making capacity. This has implications for a person found not guilty by reason of insanity and others in the justice system. Would they have the right to decline treatment if they were deemed capable of making their own decisions? How would victims feel about this?
Victim Support has lobbied hard for the rights of victims of people found not guilty by reason of insanity and will be making a submission based on our submission on the Rights for The Rights for Victims of Insane Offenders Bill.
The Ministry of Health is keen to hear from victims who may be impacted by changes to the legislation and we encourage you to have your say. More details can be found here: MH ACT Consultation documentation
How you can make a submission
Consultation is open until 28 January 2022. Feedback can be provided by:
- making an online submission
- answering the questions in the consultation document and emailing your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
- answering the questions in the consultation document and sending a hard copy to: Consultation: Transforming mental health law in Aotearoa New Zealand, Ministry of Health, PO Box 5013, Wellington 6140
- sharing your views on a particular topic relating to the consultation by emailing email@example.com
Submissions can be in any format, including video submissions. Please send these through as an attachment or link to firstname.lastname@example.org