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Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS)

Disability advocacy service and community legal centre in NSW, working with people with intellectual disability to exercise and advance their rights.

Telephone- 02 9318 0144

Free call- 1800 666 611

Fax- 02 9318 2887



Postal Address-
PO Box 3347,
Redfern NSW 2016

Criminal Justice Support Network (CJSN)

CJSN is a service of IDRS that provides trained volunteer support persons for people with an intellectual disability at police stations, at court and at legal appointments.

Sydney- 02 9318 0144 Newcastle- 02 4926 5643 Wollongong- 02 4228 4040 Other regional- NSW 02 9318 0144

After hours- 1300 665 908
9:00am - 10:00pm, 7 days a week service to get support and legal advice for people with intellectual disability under arrest

Fax- 02 9318 2887


Postal Address-
PO Box 3347,
Redfern NSW 2016

About the Step by Step Guide

The Step by Step Guide is a concise and practical Guide for lawyers representing clients with intellectual disability in section 32 applications in the NSW Local Courts.

Our aim is to equip lawyers across NSW to properly prepare for and make section 32 applications on behalf of their clients with intellectual disability.

"The ability to make such applications should be an integral part of a local Court criminal advocate's basic skills, and this publication will become a necessary part of their kit."

Mark Ierace
Senior Public Defender
10 Oct 2011

  • The legislation permits section 32 applications to be made for people with:
    • cognitive impairments (including but not limited to: intellectual disability, acquired brain injury, dementia and autism)
    • mental conditions
    • mental illness
  • This guide:
    • focuses on section 32 applications for people with intellectual disability
    • includes a section specifically about acquired brain injury (ABI)
    • includes useful information when preparing section 32 applications for clients with any developmental disability or with a mental condition
  • This guide does not seek to cover section 32 applications for mentally ill persons in any detail

Please contact IDRS

  • if you have any queries about the Step by Step Guide
  • if you would like advice about the preparation of a section 32 application
  • if your client requires court support through CJSN
    You can contact IDRS
  • By calling - (02) 9318 0144 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday
  • Email -

IDRS will endeavour to respond to queries in a timely manner, but please allow up to three working days for a response. Should your query be of an urgent nature, please contact us by telephone rather than by email.

IDRS retains copyright in respect of the Step by Step Guide