Date: 26 October 2022
Tribunal: Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Tribunal Member: Member Casey
Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) Sections: ss 13, 19, 24, 25, 48
Rights Considered: Right to freedom of movement; Right to property rights; Right to privacy and reputation
Other Legislation: Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 (Qld) ss 5, 11, 12, 14, 15; Schedule 4 Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) ss 61, 118; Powers of Attorney Act 1998 (Qld) ss 62, 109A, 116
Keywords: Health, Mental Health, Guardianship

The Tribunal appointed the Public Guardian and the Public Trustee as guardian and administrator respectively for CTR, in circumstances where it was accepted that the limits imposed by this order were reasonable and demonstrably justified in accordance with s 13 of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) on CTR’s right to privacy (section 25), freedom of movement (section 19) and property rights (section 24).

This case involved the appointment of the Public Guardian and the Public Trustee as guardian and administrator for CTR, where there were numerous claims for guardianship and administrator by CTR’s son, CTR’s friend and a parish priest. The Tribunal was satisfied that the medical evidence indicated that CTR’s diagnosis of dementia impaired his capacity to make decisions with respect to personal and financial matters.

Member Casey considered that the Tribunal was subject to the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) and that any limitation placed on CTR’s human rights, such as CTR’s right to privacy, freedom of movement, and property rights may be engaged and limited by decision of the Tribunal to appoint a guardian and administrator. The relevant rights under the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) were freedom of movement (section 19), property rights (section 24) and right to privacy and reputation (section 25).

In consideration of the evidence provided by all parties for CTR, Member Casey acknowledged that CTR’s son and CTR’s friend would not be able to effectively consult with relevant stakeholders in order to discharge appropriate decision making. Accordingly, the Public Guardian and Public Trustee were appointed pursuant to a reviewable two-year term. In making this order, Member Casey accepted that the decision was ‘the least restrictive option given the adult’s vulnerability, and that the benefits … outweigh any limitations imposed on the adult’s human rights’: at [74].

Visit the judgment: CTR [2022] QCAT 368