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Key decisions

  • Edmonds v Morrissey [2016] NSWSC 342
  • Cohen v Cohen [2016] NSWSC 336
  • Estate Cockell; Cole v Paisley [2016] NSWSC 349

Government enquiries and reviews

The protection of vulnerable persons has become very much a matter of government and community concern.

There are the following current enquiries:

  • NSW parliamentary enquiry into Elder abuse in New South Wales;
  • Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into Protecting the Rights of Older Australians from Abuse;
  • NSW Law Reform Commission review of the Guardianship Act 1987;
  • review of the Powers of Attorney Regulation 2011.

The Law Society has made submissions in relation to each of the enquiries with input from its Elder Law & Succession Committee. Five practitioners, of whom I was one, gave evidence at an open session of the NSW parliamentary enquiry.

Committee members met with Alan Cameron AO, the NSW Law Reform Commissioner, with carriage of the Guardianship Act enquiry. Particular matters of concern raised with him include:

  • the nature of decision making – whether it is to be the substitute model as it is now, or whether supported decision making is preferable;
  • the benefits of national uniformity or harmonisation of existing laws;
  • access to medical reports and other evidence in proceedings involving persons with a disability over the age of 18 years;
  • rights to legal representation at NCAT.

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