On 29 July 2019 the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights resolved to conduct a short inquiry into the Quality of Care Amendment (Minimising the Use of Restraints) Principles 2019 [F2019L00511], as part of its function of examining legislative instruments for compatibility with human rights (under section 7(a) of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011).
The committee received correspondence on this legislative instrument from Human Rights Watch and the Office of the Public Advocate (Victoria) asking it to consider a number of human rights concerns in relation to the instrument.
The committee has determined to hold a one day public hearing in Sydney on Tuesday 20 August and will invite those that have contacted it in relation to the instrument, along with a limited number of other relevant stakeholders, to attend the hearing. The committee is particularly interested in seeking evidence in relation to:
∙ whether the restrictions in the instrument on the use of physical and chemical restraints by approved providers sufficiently protect the human rights of aged care consumers;
∙ how the regulation of the use of restraints in the instrument compares to the regulation of the use of restraints in comparable jurisdictions and sectors (i.e. state and territory jurisdictions, the disability sector and broader health care settings);
∙ whether it would be appropriate for the instrument to be amended to provide additional safeguards for the use of both physical and chemical restraints; and
∙ whether the substitute decision making arrangements set out in the instrument sufficiently protect the rights of aged care consumers.
Following this hearing the committee will consider the evidence and determine its next steps.