A different court process applies to matters where an accused person is prosecuted under the Crimes (Mental Impairment & Unfitness to be Tried Act) 1997.

This Act applies when the accused person states that:

  • they are unfit to stand trial because of a current mental illness or cognitive impairment; or
  • they committed the crime but were suffering from a mental impairment at the time the offence.

Although ‘mental impairment’ is not defined in the law, it generally includes someone with a severe mental illness or disorder.

If the court finds an accused person unfit to stand trial or not guilty of the crime because of their mental impairment, they will generally place the person on a Supervision Order. A person on a Supervision Order is referred to as a Supervised Person.

Before the court places an offender on a Supervision Order, you will be given the opportunity to make a Victim or Family member Report. For more information see the Victim or Family Member Reports page.

The Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) has produced a guide called Prosecuting Mental Impairment Matters that explains the court process where mentally ill or cognitively impaired people are prosecuted for serious crimes. In particular it explains:

  • what it means when an accused person states that they are unfit to stand trial
  • what happens at a Special Hearing
  • what happens when an accused person seeks to use the defence of mental impairment
  • what a Supervision Order is
  • what a Victim or Family Member Report is and when you may make one.

The Guide also includes:

  • a flowchart of the various processes
  • a standard letter to use as a pro-forma if you no longer want to be informed about the process by the OPP
  • a detachable form to assist in making a Victim or Family Member Report
  • a glossary of legal terms
  • relevant contact information.

There is also an online PDF version of the form which can be downloaded and filled in on the computer. When complete, the form can be printed and sworn as a statutory declaration.