Adult Protection Systems and Australian Laws

We live in an aging society where elderly with dementia is sharply increasing. We need effective public policy. A legal definition for adult protection has not been established yet. In this paper, the adult protection system refers to an offer of necessary support, according to individual characteristics, to minimize restriction of a principal's rights (the principle of necessity), and it is also considered to replace other less restrictive alternative measures available (the principle of replenishment). It differs from the adult guardianship system, which uniformly and strictly restricts substitute decision-making for elderly with cognitive disabilities. Instead supported decision-making model is largely applied to and substituted decision-making is minimized. In other words, human rights are to be highly respected. Australian law reforms in adult guardianship and elder abuse have been discussed in state and federal law reform commissions in response to growing population of elderly with dementia and international human rights legislation and awareness, and is being considered in the Houses. These movements are positive to respond to possible challenges of the aging society and is a reference for any country including Japan. The purpose of this paper is to focus on Australian law reforms of adult guardianship in states and federal legislation on elder abuse, and to examine the implications of those from an adult protection perspective. This process can then be considered through literature survey and interviews that a package of law reforms in Australia is an example of adult protection legislation process.

Adult protection, Australian law, Adult guardianship, Elder abuse

Public Policy and Public Perspectives on Aging

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

  • Yukio Sakurai
    • PhD student, Graduate School of International Social Sciences, Yokohama National University, Japan Japan
    • Mr.Yukio Sakurai is PhD student, Graduate School of International Social Sciences, Yokohama National University, Japan, with a businessman background at an international shipping company. He has an MBA in Social Design Studies (Rikkyo Univ.) and an bachelar of law (the Univ. of Tokyo) . He researches adult protection law, in addition to adult guardianship and supported decision-making as his life work. He also researches grobal governance studies as well.