Law and policy reform
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.