Defendants with intellectual and other disabilities

Contributor – Peter Lynch

Defendants with specific disabilities who plead guilty to the offence/s they are charged with may be dealt with under a special Assessment and Referral Court List (ARC List) at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

The Magistrates’ Court Amendment (Assessment and Referral Court List) Act 2010 (Vic) was enacted on 30 March 2010. This Act established a special Assessment and Referral Court List (“ARC List“) at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to deal with defendants with mental health, intellectual or other disabilities who satisfy certain criteria, including diagnostic, functional and need criteria (s 4T Magistrates’ Court Act 1989 (Vic) (“MC Act“).

Magistrates sitting in the ARC List have various powers to deal with such defendants, including adjourning the hearing for the preparation of an individual support plan (s 4U). Magistrates can also discharge a defendant without a finding of guilt if the defendant completes an individual support plan (s 4Y).

Pleas of “not guilty” are to be transferred out of the ARC List (s 4X).

For contact details and further information about the ARC List, also seeAssessment and Referral Court” in Disability and criminal justice.

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