Some people may find content on this website distressing. Read more
The Find & Connect website is changing soon Read more
Tasmania - Legislation

Mental Health Act 1996 (1996 - 2014)

Principal Act

The Mental Health Act 1996 sets out a number of principles relating to the treatment of involuntary patients in the Mental Health System by practitioners and the wider community. The Mental Health Act 1996 was repealed and replaced by the Mental Health Act 2013 on the 17 February 2014.


This legislation deals only with involuntary patients and according to a publication by the Hobart Community Legal Service Inc. aimed to ensure "high standards of care for people with mental illnesses, ensure patients are provided with appropriate information about their rights, and to promote recognition in the community of the rights of people with a mental illness. Other objects include reducing the adverse effects of mental illness on families, ensure equitable and comprehensive services, and achieve high standards of care and treatment" (Hobart Community Legal Service Inc, 2013).

This legislation existed alongside the Guardianship and Administration Act 1995 and in many cases these two pieces of legislation overlapped.


 1858 - 1963 Mental Hospitals Act 1858
 1920 - 1963 Mental Deficiency Act
       1963 - 1999 Mental Health Act 1963
             1996 - 2014 Mental Health Act 1996
                   2014 - Mental Health Act 2013


Online Resources

Prepared by: Elizabeth Daniels