Guardianship Act Review – Question Paper 2 and 3:

The NSW Law Reform Commission is reviewing the Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW), and is seeking people’s views. Under the current NSW Guardianship system, a decision-maker can be appointed to make personal, financial and medical decisions for a person who cannot make those decisions themselves. The Commission is releasing 6 questions papers on a number of topics asking for people’s views. On 1 November 2016, they released question papers 2 and 3.

Question Paper 2 looks at the different decision-making models and Question Paper 3 looks at the role of guardians and financial managers. The BEING policy team is currently working on a submission to Question Paper 2.


Question Paper 2: Decision-making models

The law currently uses substitute decision making, where a person makes a decision for another person. Many people think this needs to change to supported decision-making, when a person is supported to make decisions for themselves. We advocated for supported decision making in our preliminary submission in March. Questions we are thinking about for our submission are:

  • Many people have informal supports to help them make decisions. Should there be a formal supported decision-making process as part of the law? What would this include?
  • How can we make sure the new system works for people with a mental illness? How can the law best support people who have the capacity to make decisions independently when well, but may have reduced capacity when unwell?
  • In what circumstances should substitute decision-making be included?
  • Who should be able to become a decision maker? This could be family or carer, paid workers, support people or volunteers.

We want to learn more about the Guardianship system’s impact on people, especially where mental illness is involved. Share your experiences and views on Guardianship with us at or (02) 9332 0200. Please note the BEING office is closed for the holiday period from 26 December 2016 to 6 January 2017.

We also encourage people to provide feedback to the Law Commission; this can be done by an online survey, written submission or over the phone. For more information on Question Paper 2 click here. For more information on Question Paper 3 click here.  Closing date for feedback on both question papers is Tuesday 31 January 2016.

To read BEING’s preliminary submission on the Guardianship Act Review, and information about the review in general click here.

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