3254 -Legislative Assembly Questions and Answers - Tuesday 15 July 2008 - Guardianship Hearing for Emily Brown - Ms Katrina Hodgkinson asked the Minister for Community Services

(1) How many DoCS staff attended the Guardianship Tribunal hearing regarding the custody of Emily Brown?
(2) What is the employment position description of each of the DoCS staff attending this hearing?
(3) (a) Did any barristers and solicitors, retained by DoCS, attend this hearing?  (b) If so how many?
(4) What was the total cost to DoCS, including legal fees, for attending this hearing?


(1) Three.
(2) The Manager Casework was the applicant, the Manager Client Services attended as supervising officer and the Director Intensive Support Services was present due to the very complex nature of this case and at the specific request of the Guardianship Tribunal.
(3) DoCS was legally represented by a DoCS lawyer.
(4) No legal fees were incurred and the attendance of DoCS officers was seen as a normal part of their duties in relation to ongoing casework. No special costs were incurred in relation to this hearing.

Source : http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/la/lapaper.nsf/0/84AB3CC8C055E870CA257486001FC9CC/$file/081-QA-S.pdf

Guardianship Act 1987 - Sect 4 - General Principles

It is the duty of everyone exercising functions under this Act with respect to persons who have disabilities to observe the following principles:

(a) the welfare and interests of such persons should be given paramount consideration,
(b) the freedom of decision and freedom of action of such persons should be restricted as little as possible,
(c) such persons should be encouraged, as far as possible, to live a normal life in the community,
(d) the views of such persons in relation to the exercise of those functions should be taken into consideration,
(e) the importance of preserving the family relationships and the cultural and linguistic environments of such persons should be recognised,
(f) such persons should be encouraged, as far as possible, to be self-reliant in matters relating to their personal, domestic and financial affairs,
(g) such persons should be protected from neglect, abuse and exploitation,
(h) the community should be encouraged to apply and promote these principles.
Source : http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ga1987136/s4.html

CRIMINAL CODE ACT 1995 - The Guardianship Tribunal Domestically Trafficking Persons to the Public Guardian

Offence committed for the benefit of an organisation

             (1)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person commits an offence against any law (the underlying offence ); and

                     (b)  the underlying offence is for the benefit of an organisation; and

                     (c)  the organisation consists of 2 or more persons; and

                     (d)  the organisation's aims or activities include facilitating the engagement in conduct, or engaging in conduct, constituting an offence against any law that is, or would if committed be, for the benefit of the organisation; and

                     (e)  the offence against any law mentioned in paragraph (d) is an offence against any law punishable by imprisonment for at least 3 years; and

                      (f)  the underlying offence is a constitutionally covered offence punishable by imprisonment for at least 12 months.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 7 years.