Appealing a tribunal decision

The Mental Health Court hears appeals against decisions of the Mental Health Review Tribunal. These appeal proceedings are not open to the public.

During the appeal proceeding, the court re-hears the case, and refers to the material that was available to the tribunal and any further evidence permitted by the court.

What you can appeal

You can appeal a:

  • review decision
  • decision on a treatment application
  • decision to transfer a patient to the forensic disability service
  • decision to allow a patient to move out of Queensland.

Who can appeal

Appeals against tribunal decisions can be made by:

  • a party to the proceeding
  • a person acting on behalf of the patient who was the subject of the decision
  • the Director of Mental Health.

Starting an appeal proceeding

To start an appeal, complete and lodge Form 04 - Notice of appeal against decision of the Mental Health Review Tribunal (PDF, 327.4 KB) or (DOC, 90KB) at the Mental Health Court registry.

Lodge the form within 60 days after the written notice of the tribunal’s decision is received (or within 60 days after the tribunal’s decision if you’re the Director of Mental Health).

The notice must state the grounds of appeal and the facts you are relying on.

Requesting a stay (suspension) of the tribunal’s decision

You can request a stay in any appeal against a tribunal decision.

  • If the stay is granted, the tribunal’s decision can’t take effect until the court hears the appeal and makes a decision.
  • If the stay isn’t granted, the tribunal’s decision remains in effect until the court makes a decision.

Withdrawing an appeal

You can withdraw an appeal by lodging Form 11 - Notice to withdraw appeal against decision of Mental Health Review Tribunal (PDF, 128KB) or (DOC, 50KB) in the court registry before the Mental Health Court makes its decision.

Who can appear

Any party to the proceeding has a right to appear at the proceeding. The following people may appear in person or may be represented by a lawyer or agent (at the court’s discretion).

Decisions on reviews:

  • the patient
  • the Director of Mental Health (if the person appealing (the appellant) is the director or if the director elects to become a party to the appeal)
  • the Attorney-General (if the subject of the appeal is a forensic patient).

Decisions on treatment:

  • the applicant for treatment (the treating doctor)
  • the person who is the subject of the treatment
  • the Director of Mental Health (if the director elects to become a party to the appeal)

Decisions on applications for a patient to move out of Queensland:

  • the patient
  • the Director of Mental Health

Expert witnesses may also be called to give evidence.

A support person may also attend to help the patient express their views, wishes and interests. They are not a party to the proceeding and may be the patient’s allied person who advocates on their behalf or some other person granted leave to attend by the court.

Examination orders

The court may order the patient (who is the subject of the appeal) to submit to an examination by a court-nominated psychiatrist or health practitioner. The practitioner must provide a written report to the court that documents their examination of the patient.

The court’s decision

The court may dismiss or uphold the tribunal’s decision. It may also make new orders if a decision is made to uphold the appeal.

The decision of the court is final. It can’t be appealed against, reviewed, quashed or invalidated in any court.