Image - head shape made of lightening


In Western Australia, the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996 outlines the policies and procedures to be followed in criminal proceedings against people with a mental impairment who are deemed of ‘unsound mind’ or ‘unfit to stand trial’. Under the Act, people who are of ‘unsound mind’ can be acquitted of a crime because …

Read more
Image - sunlight through window with bars


This review has found that our current system for managing mentally impaired accused is unjust, under-resourced and ineffective. People with serious mental health issues, who are not guilty of an offence are held in custody often for far longer than the offence would normally warrant.   The courts do not have sufficient flexibility to achieve community safety and …

Read more
Image - pills

Key Findings

Powers of the courts and the executive: There are almost certainly many defendants who could invoke the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act but do not do so. Lawyers are probably not invoking the Act due to the risk of custody orders being imposed. Discretion and flexibility are essential to doing justice and achieving community …

Read more
Image - hospital bed


1. The government should examine legislative amendments to give greater flexibility to the courts in dealing with people under the Act, including: (i)  community based alternatives to custody orders for people who are found unfit to stand trial but require some degree of supervision; and (ii) repealing or restricting the scope of Schedule 1. 2. The …

Read more

Get Connected