On the edge of justice: the legal needs of people with a mental illness in NSW
This study examines the legal and access to justice issues experienced by people with a mental illness. The methodology comprised a literature review, focus group discussions with key stakeholders, in-depth interviews with 81 legal and non-legal service providers, and 30 semi-structured interviews with people who have a mental illness. The report concluded that people with a mental illness experience a number of legal issues with potentially serious personal and financial consequences, and face many barriers in having these legal issues addressed....
Discrimination on the basis of disability (including psychiatric disability) is unlawful in NSW, under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
(ADA), and in Australia generally, under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992
(DDA). Although they both cover discrimination on the basis of disability, both pieces of legislation differ in the areas they cover, their complaints process, exemptions and upper limits on compensation. For example, under both pieces of legislation it is unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of their disability in relation to employment and related areas, education, accommodation, the provision of goods and services and clubs.33
In addition, under the DDA, it is unlawful to discriminate in relation to sport, Commonwealth laws and programs and land. Under the ADA it is unlawful to discriminate in the area of education, but not for private schools. Complaints made under the DDA must be made to HREOC and there is no upper limit on compensation. Complaints made under the ADA must be made to the Anti-Discrimination Board and compensation must not exceed $40 000.34
Participants for this study reported being discriminated against on the basis of psychiatric disability in relation to employment, accommodation, education and the provision of goods and services.35