Forensic patients

Forensic patients are people who are:

subject to supervision orders (supervision orders last for an indefinite time, and can be custodial or non-custodial); or

on remand under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 (Vic) (“CMIUT Act”); or

ordered under the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) (“Crimes Act (Cth)”) to be detained in safe custody in prison or in a hospital for a specified period (these patients are called Commonwealth forensic patients).

The CMIUT Act deals with the procedures at a criminal trial in the Supreme Court or the County Court where there is an issue as to the accused’s fitness to stand trial, or where the defence of not guilty on the grounds of mental impairment is raised. Whereas, division 7 of part 1B of the Crimes Act (Cth) deals with acquittal because of mental illness. Part 12 of the MHA 2014 deals with forensic patients and the criteria and process around being taken to another designated mental health service and applying to the MHT for review of such a decision. (See Disability and criminal justice.)