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S32 Step By Step Guide



A section 32 order pursuant to the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 NSW ('MHFPA') is a way for the Local Court to divert people with particular conditions who have been charged with a criminal offence out of the criminal justice system. Part 3 of the MHFPA contains all provisions relevant to summary proceedings before a magistrate relating to people with intellectual disability, other developmental disabilities and mental disorders.

The magistrate's powers are inquisitorial rather than adversarial in nature and the magistrate can inform themselves in any way they see fit without requiring the defendant to incriminate him or herself. There is no prescribed form for an application and are generally made orally. Magistrates often rely on written reports from experts and service providers and generally there is no need for the applicant to give evidence.

Acronyms and abbreviations

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  • ABI - Acquired Brain Injury
  • ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
  • ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • ADHC - Ageing, Disability and Home Care
  • AVL - Audio Visual Link
  • CJP - Community Justice Program (part of ADHC)
  • CJSN - Criminal Justice Support Network
  • DPP - Director of Public Prosecutions
  • DSM-IV-TR - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision 2000
  • DSP - Disability Support Pension
  • IDRS - Intellectual Disability Rights Service
  • LEPRA - Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW)
  • MHFPA - Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 (NSW)
  • NGO - Non-government organisation
  • SDS - Statewide Disability Services (part of NSW Corrective Services)
Section 32 MHFPA

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