Last updated 1 May 2020
A psychiatrist’s report may be requested by or on behalf of a person who is a patient in an authorised mental health service under a treatment authority, forensic order or treatment support order, and is charged with a serious offence. The expression ‘serious offence’ is defined in the Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld) (Mental Health Act), and refers in general to the more serious criminal offences under state law.
The request is to be made to the chief psychiatrist, who must direct the administrator of the health service to arrange for the report to be prepared.
Alternatively, the chief psychiatrist can direct that a psychiatrist’s report be arranged, even if there has been no request.
The report is then to be prepared within 60 days, which can be extended by the chief psychiatrist to up to 90 days. The report can also consider associated offences, which are offences alleged to have been committed at or around the same time as the serious offence.
Once the report is obtained, the chief psychiatrist must provide it to the patient or to whoever made the request, and to the administrator of the patient’s treating health service.
The chief psychiatrist will also give consideration as to whether to refer the matter of the patient’s mental condition to the Mental Health Court (s 101 Mental Health Act).
This is one of the ways in which references are made to the Mental Health Court. The various ways references can be made are discussed below.