SALRI: Powers of Attorney Update

The independent South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) based at the Adelaide Law School has had a busy and productive time examining the role and operation of powers of attorney in South Australia.

There are wide concerns over the perceived abuse of powers of attorney and the financial exploitation of elderly persons and those with a cognitive impairment or disability. A number of issues arise as part of this topical and important reference including:  updating the standard form, the witnessing of the document, the definition and assessment of capacity at both the making and activation of an enduring power of attorney, the intersection of legal and medical roles, preventing and addressing misuse, civil and criminal law remedies to respond to misuse and abuse and a national or State register. 

SALRI is conscious of the importance of maintaining the use and effectiveness of powers of attorney and of promoting the autonomy of individuals that enter into a power of attorney whilst seeking to address and prevent misuse. 

As part of its extensive consultation process, SALRI has held a number of consultation meetings in Adelaide with legal and health professionals, interested parties, experts, Government agencies, community organisations and community members. SALRI has also held similar meetings in Berri (7 August 2020), Port Lincoln (13-14 August 2020) and Clare and Port Pirie (17-18 August 2020). SALRI is grateful for the very helpful input it has received. 

A number of SALRI and Adelaide Law School staff have been involved, but most notably, Dr Sylvia Villios (lead author), Professor John Williams (SALRI Director), Dr David Plater (SALRI Deputy Director), Associate Professor Bernadette Richards (co-author), Dr Gabrielle Golding (co-author), Anita Brunacci (co-author), Olga Pandos (Research Assistant and co-author) and Dr Mark 'Matt' Giancaspro.   

Details of this reference and how to provide input may be found here

SALRI will be visiting Mt Gambier on 18 September 2020 to complete its regional consultation. 

The formal consultation period closes at 5pm on Friday 4 September 2020.

We welcome input from interested parties and the community.       

Tagged in Impact, News, Research, South Australian Law Reform Institute

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