Making a statement
The Mental Health Court may consider a statement or submission by a person who is not a party to the hearing, such as a victim of crime.
You can make a statement for the Mental Health Court if you have relevant information not already known to the court.
Information to include
Your information must be relevant to the decision that the court is making, such as the mental condition of the alleged offender at the time of the offence or the risk you believe the alleged offender poses to you or your family.
The court may already have a statement from you, such as one you gave the police. A new statement should not repeat the information in your police statement.
All information must be truthful and accurate. You must swear your statement before a justice of the peace, commissioner for declarations or a lawyer. A sworn statement is the same as giving evidence on oath in court. There are serious consequences for knowingly making a false statement.
You might also give information regarding non-contact orders or the confidentiality of your statement. The court must consider your views before making a non-contact order. If you want the court to consider making a non-contact order in your favour, state this and your reasons in your statement.
Read more about non-contact orders.
Who sees the statement
Relevant staff in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the prosecutor, the judge and lawyers for the defence will see your statement, as well as the alleged offender.
In some circumstances, the court may make a confidentiality order to stop information being disclosed to the alleged offender. If you want the court to consider make a confidentiality order, explain why in your statement. Read more about confidentiality orders.
You may decide not to submit your statement if the court doesn’t make a confidentiality order. If so, tell the victim liaison officer in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Also make this very clear in your statement.
Receiving a statement into evidence
The court doesn’t have to take your material into account, but it must provide reasons. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will tell you if the court decides not to take your material into account.
Submitting the statement
Your statement must be submitted to the court through a party to the proceedings.
For victims of crime, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions submits the statement to the court if it’s sworn before a justice of the peace, commissioner for declarations or a lawyer.
If they feel it’s not appropriate to submit your statement to the court—in the interests of justice—the reasons will be explained to you.
Attending the court hearing
You may attend the hearing of a criminal case that’s been referred to the Mental Health Court except in certain situations. Find out about how court hearings work.