Supporting People with Cognitive Disability with Decision-Making: Any Australian Law Reform Contributions?
Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 2, No. 1, PP. 6-16, 2015
18 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2015 Last revised: 13 Jul 2015
Date Written: March 25, 2015
This paper briefly reviews recent law reform achievements or proposals for supported decision making (‘SDM’) within Australia against benchmarks such as how well the measure translates SDM principles to cater for the routine needs of a person with cognitive impairments, whether it appears robust and workable in practice; and how prone it may be to over-reach or unintended consequences. The paper suggests that ALRC reforms are more principled and better targeted on the more mundane needs of people with cognitive impairments, while recent Victorian initiatives rate poorly in terms of avoiding public misunderstandings and unintended outcomes, despite deserving credit for fidelity to the principles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and being Australia’s first supported decision-making appointments. The paper recommends reconsideration of aspects of these proposals, including the retrograde step of an expedited avenue for appointment of parents as guardians or administrators of children with cognitive impairments on turning 18.
Keywords: supported decision-making, payment and correspondence nominees, law in action, evaluation
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation