The South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) has introduced new laws affecting the lawful detention of ‘protected persons’ in the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act.
Protected persons may not be able to understand Government directives about COVID-19. In response to COVID-19, the changes expand the powers of Guardians, the person in charge of prescribed premises where a protected person usually resides (prescribed person), an Authorising Officer, or the Tribunal to detain or authorise the detention of a protected person as necessary to follow the Government’s directives and to keep them safe during the pandemic.
Renowned disability advocate Richard Bruggemann has been appointed to assess these temporary orders. The orders are designed to protect the community and people living with a cognitive impairment or mental incapacity from the spread of COVID-19.
Professor Bruggemann was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Intellectual Disability Services Council and the Government’s Senior Practitioner. Professor Bruggemann will focus on balancing public health measures with individual’s rights. Where people with disability or others are not satisfied with the orders made there are safeguards in place to assist review.
Laws will cease when declarations relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 within South Australia cease or on 8 October 2020 (which ever comes first).
SACAT have created an Information Sheet which outlines the additional powers specifically – click here to view this.