Making the future happen: Law reform lessons from the Victorian Royal Commission

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Donnelly, Mary
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As mental health law reform projects proliferate, especially in the wake of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), it becomes necessary to find ways to analyse these projects and to evaluate their successes and failures. This chapter argues that an important element in this respect relates to the process employed in developing law reform proposals which, it contends, has consequences for both the reform project’s legitimacy and its potential to effect meaningful change. Drawing on the approach of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, this chapter seeks to identify the components of an appropriate law reform process. To do this, it begins by exploring the differing impetuses for mental health law reform and identifying the variety of law reform processes which can be employed. It then examines how the Victorian Royal Commission approached its task. It concludes that the Royal Commission’s approach provides valuable lessons for other jurisdictions, both in its law reform proposals and in its process.
Mental health , Law reform , CRPD , Royal Commission
Donnelly, M. (2023) 'Making the Future Happen: Law Reform Lessons from the Victorian Royal Commission', in Wilson, K., Maker, Y., Gooding,, P. and Walvisch, J. (eds) The Future of Mental Health, Disability and Criminal Law, Abingdon: Routledge. isbn: 9781003350644,
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