Change of Name

Change of Name

There are special rules for forensic patients who wish to change their name. A forensic patient must seek the Tribunal’s approval under s31D of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 before applying to the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages to change their name.

If a forensic patient is also registered under the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act the patient must seek the permission of the Commissioner of Police, in addition to the Tribunal, before changing their name.

To arrange a hearing, the patient’s treating clinician should email the Tribunal with:

  • A letter from the patient explaining why the patient wishes to change their name.
  • A letter from the case manager or psychiatrist outlining the patient’s current mental state and giving an opinion as to whether:
    • the wish to change name is attributable to the symptoms of mental illness.
    • the change of name would affect the security, discipline or good order of any facility at which the patient is accommodated,
    • the change of name would jeopardise the health or safety of the patient or another person

The Tribunal will also consider whether the change of name:

  • is likely to be used to further an unlawful activity or purpose or to evade or hinder the patient’s supervision.
  • would be reasonably likely to be regarded as offensive by a victim of crime or an appreciable section of the community.

A hearing will be held to consider the application. The patient and their case manager will attend. Registered victims will be notified of the forensic patient’s proposal to change their name and may make submissions on whether the new name is offensive to them.