Legal help and advocacy

Legal advice and representation 

Our legal services

QAI has two legal services which can offer advice and representation in specific circumstances.

Psychology session with young woman

Mental Health Legal Service

The Mental Health Legal Service (MHLS) is a specialist legal service dedicated to providing free legal assistance in relation to mental health law in Queensland, primarily around involuntary treatment. 

The MHLS may assist with:

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Treatment Authorities (formerly known as Involuntary Treatment Orders) 
  • Forensic Orders 
  • Forensic Orders (Disability) 
  • Treatment Support Orders 
  • Patient transfers 
  • Confidentiality orders 
  • Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) hearings 
  • Advance Health Directives  
Photo of a solicitor explaining something to a client

Human Rights Legal Service

The Human Rights Legal Service (HRLS) is a specialist legal service dedicated to providing free legal assistance in relation to disability discrimination, guardianship, and human rights. 

The HRLS may assist with: 

  • Human rights
  • Disability Discrimination
  • Guardianship and Administration
  • Restrictive practices
  • Forensic Orders (Disability)
  • Right to Information

The HRLS may be able to offer representation at Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) hearings for some of the above matters. 

The HRLS can offer advice only* for:  

  • Enduring Power of Attorneys
  • Power of Attorneys
  • Advance Health Directives

*HRLS is not able to draft documents for these matters.

Who do these services assist?

To be eligible for assistance, the client must have (or have been diagnosed with) a: 

  • Intellectual disability 
  • Cognitive impairment 
  • Acquired brain injury  
  • Profound mental illness 
  • Profound physical disability 
  • Other vulnerabilities causing severe disadvantage (see HRLS page)

QAI will want to speak directly with the person in need of assistance. QAI is respectful of and encourages the assistance of family, friends, and other support people. However, unless exceptional circumstances exist, only a person with disability can be a client of QAI.   

QAI will only speak with family, friends and other support people with the informed and freely given consent of the client.   

Family or carers seeking their own advice and support can contact: 

When do these services assist?

For help to be offered by the MHLS or HRLS, the matter must require legal assistance and attempts must have been made to resolve the matter through negotiation or other non-legal processes. For example, complaints about how health or disability services are provided should first be made in writing to the management of the service. 

The extent of assistance that will be provided by our legal services is at the discretion of each service, having regard to circumstances such as the needs of the person, available resources, and the capacity of the service at the relevant time. 

See the individual service’s page for detailed information on the service, eligibility criteria and how to contact us for help. 

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