Mental Health Legal Centre Inc.

  • Client wins right to drive a taxi - Director of Public Transport v XFJ [2011] VSCA 302 (11 October 2011)

The Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal affirmed the suitability of our client, a 55-year-old man, known as XFJ, to be accredited as a taxi driver.  The Court's unanimous decision vindicates our client's right to drive a taxi.  Despite XFJ's past psychiatric history, the Court found there was no risk to passenger safety.  Almost 20 years ago XFJ had been acquitted of a charge of murder of his wife because he had a severe mental illness at the time.  He has been free of psychiatric symptoms for over 15 years and his mental illness is not expected to recur.  The Court noted our client's "emphatically favourable" psychiatric evidence was unchallenged.

The case highlights the importance of considering all the circumstances  of a person's case before drawing prejudicial conclusions about risk to members of the public.

Please note, our client's name and identity is subject to a suppression order.

Read the MHLC's Media Release (11 October 2011) (pdf)

Read the MHLC's Letter to Editor at the Herald Sun (14 October 2011) (pdf)

Read the full text of the decision (pdf)


  • An administration order should never be used to enforce psychiatric treatment - PJB v Melbourne Health & anor (Patrick's case) [2011] VSC 327 (19 July 2011)

The MHLC's client, Patrick, succeeded in an appeal against the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal's appointment of an administrator which would have forcibly sold our client's home. The sale of Patrick's home would have meant he would have to live in supported accommodation in a hostel, where it would be easier to enforce his psychiatric treatment. The decision of the Victorian Supreme Court, referred to as Patrick's case, emphasises the rights of people with mental illness to have their autonomy respected and to be be treated on an equal basis with others.

Read the MHLC's Media release (21 July 2011)

Read our Letter to the Editor at The Age (22 July 2011) - either online (html format) or print version (pdf)

Read the full decision: PJB v Melbourne Health & anor (Patrick's case [2011] VSC 327 (19 July 2011)


Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria

Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria
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