Resolving ACD disputes and Review of Public Advocate determinations

In some situations SACAT can resolve disputes arising under an ACD and give a declaration or direction about an issue. 

SACAT can also review a matter dealt with by the Public Advocate at mediation under the Act.

These issues or disputes can include the following:

  • the nature or extent of a person’s powers or responsibilities under the ACD
  • how to interpret the wording of the ACD to give effect to the wishes of the person who has prepared the ACD
  • whether an act or failing to take an act falls within the powers of the substitute decision-maker
  • whether the person who gave the ACD has impaired decision making capacity about a particular decision

When reviewing a matter dealt with by the Public Advocate or when considering a matter to make a declaration or give a direction SACAT must, as far as is possible, seek to give full effect to the wishes of the person who gave the ACD.

Where there are disputes under an ACD you should first seek the assistance of the Public Advocate to mediate the matter before applying to SACAT

An application to SACAT to resolve a dispute by way of declaration or direction can be made if required.

When to apply to SACAT

If the Public Advocate has made a decision on his own initiative, or on application, or has given a direction or declaration following mediation, you can apply to SACAT for a review of the Public Advocate’s decision.

You can also apply directly to SACAT for a declaration or direction about an issue arising under an ACD. However, SACAT may refer the matter back to the Public Advocate for mediation if it has not first been referred to the Public Advocate and SACAT considers the Public Advocate can more appropriately deal with the issue.

Who can apply? 

The following persons can apply to SACAT for the resolution of disputes arising under an ACD and to seek a declaration or direction, or for a review of a matter dealt with by the Public Advocate:

  • the person who gave the ACD
  • a substitute decision-maker appointed under an ACD
  • a health practitioner providing or wishing to give care under an ACD
  • any person 
  • any person who satisfies the public advocate or the tribunal that they a proper interest in a particular matter arising under an ACD
  • a person who was a party to a mediation before the public advocate.

Right to Review of a SACAT decision (Internal Review)

There is a right to Review of a SACAT decision to make a declaration or direction in relation to an ACD. 

Who can apply for Review of a SACAT decision?

An application for Review of a SACAT decision can be made by:

  • the applicant for cancellation of the ACD
  • the person who gave the ACD
  • the Public Advocate
  • any person who presented evidence or material or made submissions to SACAT about the matter
  • any other person who satisfies SACAT that he or she has a proper interest in the matter.