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Queensland - Legislation

Mental Health Act 2000 (2000 - )

Principal Act

The Mental Health Act 2000 (Act no.16/2000) repealed and replaced the Mental Health Act 1974 after extensive reviews of both the Mental Health Act 1974 and Mental Health system.


The Mental Health Act 2000 had the full title: 'An Act about treating and protecting people who have mental illnesses, and for other purposes' (Act no.16/2000).

The Mental Health Act 2000 established the Mental Health Court to determine soundness of mind and fitness for trial, and the Mental Health Review Tribunal an 'independent statutory authority to safe guard the rights of people receiving involuntary treatment for mental illness'(Queensland Health, 2013). In addition the Mental Health Act 2000 shifted the compulsory involvement of the Police in particular mental health matters to health professionals such as Paramedics, Doctors and Nurses. Under the legislation Police can still assist but only if required.

The act focuses heavily on the rights of patients particularly those who are receiving involuntarily treatment whether in a hospital or the community. This focus includes the tightening of criteria for involuntary admission to psychiatric hospitals and involuntary treatment such as Electric Shock Therapy. The legislation also shortens the period of time that individual can be detained as involuntary in-patients, the period of time between reviews and assessments by psychiatric staff.


 1938 - c. 1962 Mental Hygiene Act of 1938
       1962 - 1974 Mental Health Act 1962
             1974 - 2000 Mental Health Act 1974
                   2000 - Mental Health Act 2000


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Comparative table: Mental Health Act 1974 and Mental Health Act 2000, Queensland Health,; Queensland Health, The road to recovery - a history of mental health services in Queensland 1859-2009, Queensland Government, 2013,

Prepared by: Elizabeth Daniels