This practice area provides advice and representation in matters related to:

  • managing complaints under the Discrimination Act 1991 before the ACT Human Rights Commission (ACT HRC) and, on referral, the ACAT, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, including claims brought under the HR Act relating to the right to equality, the right to freedom of religion, and the right to humane treatment when deprived of liberty,
  • providing legal advice on matters relating to the provision of mental health services together with legal representation in relation to applications under the Mental Health Act 2015, including internal appeals in the ACAT and appeals to the Supreme Court,
  • assisting the Australian Federal Police (ACT Policing) in relation to decisions made under Territory law, including as the Firearms Registrar, and on other matters related to the interpretation and application of Territory laws to community policing, and
  • representing Child and Youth Protection Services in applications to the ACT Children’s Court for care and protection orders under the Children and Young People Act 2008. The ACTGS has also provided representation in care and protection appeals in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal from orders made in the ACT Children’s Court.

During the reporting period, activities included:

  • responding to the application of disability discrimination principles to the provision of mental health treatment and care, involuntary treatment of health consumers for medical conditions and rights and interests of health consumers in mental health and guardianship law
  • providing defence of complaints in relation to age and race discrimination in employment, care and protection services and proceedings and disability (service animals) in employment
  • appearing on behalf of ACT Policing in matters relating to the production of documents pursuant to subpoena
  • providing advice to ACT Corrective Services
  • providing advice to ACT Policing across a wide range of matters on the scope and exercise of investigatory and enforcement powers under those laws and the application of any laws of the Commonwealth or the Territory which impact upon the exercise of those powers within the limits of the ACT
  • representing the Commissioner for Social Housing in relation to matters in the ACAT and the Supreme Court arising under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997
  • acting for the Director-General, Community Services in relation to some aspects of the adoption process, primarily in applications to dispense with parental consent, as well as applications for adoption orders in the ACT Supreme Court, and
  • providing advice in relation to the evidence required for applications to dispense with parental consent under the Adoption Act 1993.