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  • The Australian Law Reform Commission launched its Elder Abuse Inquiry ‘Protecting the Rights of Older Australians from Abuse’ in February 2016.
  • The Commission is seeking your feedback on 43 law reform proposals that address such areas as banking, superannuation, powers of investigation for public advocates/guardians, enduring powers of attorney/guardianship, family agreements, aged care and social security.
  • The Discussion Paper is available at
  • Submissions close on 27 February 2017.

On December 2016, the Australian Law Reform Commission (‘ALRC’) reached an important milestone in its Elder Abuse Inquiry, releasing a Discussion Paper that includes 43 proposals for law reform that aim to prevent, identify and respond to elder abuse.

The Discussion Paper is the second consultation document for the Elder Abuse Inquiry, in which the ALRC was asked by the Attorney-General to consider existing Commonwealth laws and frameworks that seek to safeguard and protect older persons from misuse or abuse by formal and informal carers, supporters, representatives and others, and to examine the interaction and relationship of these laws with state and territory laws.

The proposals in the Discussion Paper aim to balance protections and safeguards of older persons, while minimising interference in their lives and respecting their will and preferences.

Financial abuse is one of the most prevalent forms of elder abuse. Addressing this, a range of proposals have been made in relation to banking, social security, and family agreements. Perhaps of most relevance to legal professionals are proposals concerning enduring powers of attorney and enduring guardianship.

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