Review of the Guardianship Act 1987


Report 145 - review of the Guardianship Act 1987

Tabled in Parliament: 15 August 2018

Legislative action: Ageing and Disability Commissioner Act 2019 (NSW)

Other documents

Draft Proposals

Question Paper 1 Preconditions for alternative decision-making arrangements

Question Paper 2 Decision-making models

Question Paper 3 The role of guardians and financial managers

Question Paper 4 Safeguards and procedures

Question Paper 5 Medical and dental treatment and restrictive practices

Question Paper 6 Remaining issues

Background Paper 



Preliminary submissions​​​​

Terms of Reference​​​​

Reference received: 22 December 2015

Pursuant to section 10 of the Law Reform Commission Act 1967, the NSW Law Reform Commission is asked to review and report on the desirability of changes to the Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW) having regard to:

1. The relationship between the Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW) and

  • The NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009 (NSW)
  • The Powers of Attorney Act 2003 (NSW)
  • The Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW)
  • Other relevant legislation.

2. Recent relevant developments in law, policy and practice by the Commonwealth, in other States and Territories of Australia and overseas.

3. The report of the 2014 ALRC Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws.

4. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

5. The demographics of NSW and in particular the increase in the ageing population.

In particular, the Commission is to consider:

1. The model or models of decision making that should be employed for persons who cannot make decisions for themselves.

2. The basis and parameters for decisions made pursuant to a substitute decision making model, if such a model is retained.

3. The basis and parameters for decisions made under a supported decision making model, if adopted, and the relationship and boundaries between this and a substituted decision making model including the costs of implementation.

4. The appropriate relationship between guardianship law in NSW and legal and policy developments at the federal level, especially the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, the Aged Care Act 1997 and related legislation.

5. Whether the language of 'disability' is the appropriate conceptual language for the guardianship and financial management regime and to what extent 'decision making capacity' is more appropriate.

6. Whether guardianship law in NSW should explicitly address the circumstances in which the use of restrictive practices will be lawful in relation to people with a decision making incapacity.

7. In the light of the requirement of the UNCRPD that there be regular reviews of any instrument that has the effect of removing or restricting autonomy, should the Guardianship Act 1987 provide for the regular review of financial management orders.

8. The provisions of Division 4A of Part 5 of the Guardianship Act 1987 relating to clinical trials.

9. Any other matters the NSW Law Reform Commission considers relevant to the Terms of Reference. ​

Last updated:

19 Sep 2023

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