Where SACAT makes a guardianship or administration order it is required to review the order on a regular basis. Specifically, where SACAT has authorised the detention of a person the review must take place within six months of the making of the order and after that at least yearly. In the case of other orders, SACAT must review its order at least every three years. [s 57(1) Guardianship and Administration Act 1993]
Where the person's circumstances have changed, for example, the person has recovered from the mental incapacity and can make her or his own decisions, or new information becomes available, SACAT may review its orders earlier than the date specified in the order. SACAT is reliant upon interested people (such as family, friends or carers) contacting SACAT and requesting a review if they believe an order is no longer appropriate or necessary. To request an early review, any new information should be supplied in written form and addressed to the Registrar of SACAT.
Internal review of SACAT decisions
Under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993 (SA), SACAT must give the person with a mental incapacity a written statement of the effect of the Tribunal's decision, the person's appeal rights and details of how to lodge an appeal. [s 55]
If people involved in a SACAT hearing in relation to guardianship or administration (including the person with a mental incapacity) believe the Tribunal has made the wrong decision they have the right to:
- require the Tribunal to provide a written Statement of Reasons for its decision [s 67]
- challenge the Tribunal's decision by seeking an internal review [s 64].
An application for internal review may be made by [s 64(b) Guardianship and Administration Act 1993]:
- the applicant in the proceedings before the Tribunal
- a person to whom the proceedings relate (if not the applicant)
- the Public Advocate
- any person who presented evidence or material before, or made submissions to, the Tribunal in the relevant proceedings
- any other person who satisfies the Tribunal that he or she has a proper interest in the matter.
In certain matters, there is an automatic right of review [s 64(c) Guardianship and Administration Act 1993]:
- a decision for or affirming the detention of a person, or
- relating to the giving of consent to a sterilisation or a termination of pregnancy.
In all other matters, a review may only be made with the consent of the Tribunal [s 64(c)].
An application for review must normally be made within one month of the making of the decision (but the Tribunal may, if it is satisfied that it is just and reasonable in the circumstances to do so, dispense with the requirement that the application should be instituted within that period, even if the time for instituting the application has expired) [s 70(2) South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013].
However, an application for internal review of a decision of the Tribunal to consent to termination of pregnancy must be made within two working days after the making of the decision [s 64(d) Guardianship and Administration Act 1993].
SACAT must give priority to hearing and determining internal reviews of decisions relating to consent to termination of pregnancy or relating to the detention of any person [s 64(f)].
Appeals to the Supreme Court
Following an internal review, a further appeal to the Supreme Court is possible, with the permission of the Court [s 71 South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013].
A decision of the Tribunal in relation to an application for consent to a termination of pregnancy may not be made to the Supreme Court [s 64(i) Guardianship and Administration Act 1993].
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