In 2001, the Commission was asked to review and recommend changes to the existing provisions for the compulsory treatment and care of persons with an intellectual disability who are at risk to themselves.
The reference followed on from the 2001 Vincent Review, which recommended greater transparency in the processes used to restrain people in care without their consent.
In May 2002 the Commission published a discussion paper, People with Intellectual Disabilities at Risk. The Commission received 29 submissions from individuals and organisations, and was assisted by consultations with individuals and organisations and an expert advisory committee.
The final report was tabled on 20 November 2003, including 141 recommendations. In particular, it recommended the introduction of legislative principles, a statutory office of Senior Clinician, preparation of detention plans and that the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal should be able to review decisions.
The Victorian government adopted the most of the Commission’s recommendations in the Disability Act 2006 (Vic).
In particular, Parts 7 and 8 of the Disability Act implemented the Commission’s recommendations for restrictive practices and compulsory treatment of people with an intellectual disability to be guided by principles, require treatment planning and approval and be subject to review by VCAT.
The Disability Act also implemented the Commission’s recommendation for a clinician with oversight of restrictive practices and compulsory treatment, known as the ‘Senior Practitioner’.
On 21 March 2014, the Commonwealth, State and Territory Disability Ministers endorsed the National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Service Sector.
The National Framework focuses on the reduction of the use of restrictive practices in disability services that involves restraint (including physical, mechanical or chemical) or seclusion.