Law and policy reform

Law reform is a key component of ensuring access to justice for older Victorians, especially those with diminished capacity. We advocate for changes to laws and policies that adversely impact our client group.

The law reform priorities of Seniors Law aim to strengthen the promotion and protection of rights of people with diminished capacity, including by:

  • legislating to protect litigation guardians from adverse cost awards;
  • legislating to clarify that an administrator is able to conduct litigation on behalf of a represented person without being appointed litigation guardian;
  • introducing an exemption to a lawyer’s duty of confidentiality to enable a lawyer to take action if their client’s capacity is in doubt;
  • seeking uniform national powers of attorney laws and mutual recognition of powers of attorney through the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General;
  • introducing accountability measures in relation to substitute decision making, including a searchable register of powers of attorney.

Seniors Law have advocated the for following accountability measures, which were adopted in the new Powers of Attorney Act 2014.

  • review of substituted decision making;
  • a new criminal offence for the misuse of powers of attorney;
  • empower VCAT to order the substitute decision maker compensate the represented person for any loss following misuse of a power of attorney.

Family violence and elder abuse

2 June 2016
As elder abuse is a recognised form of family violence, Seniors Law has advocated for better family violence laws and systems for older people.

Access to justice

3 June 2014
Seniors Law advocates for law reform to ensure access to justice and equality before the law for older people.