Part Time Member Appointments

Expressions of Interest for the next cohort of part-time members will open in November 2023.

The Mental Health Review Tribunal recruits every 4 years for part time members in the following 3 categories:

Australian Legal Practitioners - must be qualified and admitted as an Australian lawyer (for a minimum of 7 years) and hold a current practising certificate;

Psychiatrists- must be a registered medical practitioner with specialist registration in psychiatry and recognised qualifications as a psychiatrist;

Other suitably qualified persons - should possess qualifications or experience in Mental Health rendering them suitable to be appointed as members of the Tribunal.

Part time members are required to sit on Tribunal panels and review the situation of persons with a mental illness within the framework of the NSW Mental Health Act 2007 (the Act) and the Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020 and make appropriate determinations and orders. Please note that under s188 of the Mental Health Act 2007, Tribunal members are prohibited from holding the office of Medical Superintendent or that of Official Visitor.

Role of the Legal Practitioner Members

The legal member is the presiding member, and has the role of chairing and managing the hearing in a manner conducive to achieving the required standards of informality, patient engagement in the process and optimal decision making. The presiding member will advise other members on points of law, and ensure that the patients (or their representatives) have an opportunity to put their case and ask questions of witnesses.
The presiding member is responsible for:

  • conducting the pre-hearing planning meeting with the other Members;
  • deciding the order of evidence;
  • making sure all members take part in decision making;
  • articulating the reasons for the decision; and
  • where required, writing the decision, taking into account the contributions from the other members.

Role of the Psychiatrist Members

The psychiatrist member brings to the Tribunal specialist expertise and the capacity to skilfully question professional colleagues to elicit the clinical information required by the Tribunal. In addition, the psychiatrist member is responsible for taking an educative role with the other two members of the Tribunal. The psychiatrist member does not provide a second opinion regarding the psychiatric treatment being provided, nor does that member play any role in the supervision of mental health teams or quality assurance of the services provided.

Role of the Other Suitably Qualified Members

The other suitably qualified member is not an Australian legal practitioner or a psychiatrist, but brings to the Tribunal other suitable qualifications or experience relevant to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. The other member may contribute knowledge or lived experience of mental illness, mental health services, patient rights, and community expectations to the matters being considered at a hearing. The other member may pursue issues that are of interest to the general community, particularly those associated with a focus on principles of recovery, safeguarding the rights of the patient and others, and the determination of unacceptable risk.