UN Committee upholds Marlon Noble’s complaint

Marlon Noble, who was detained for over 10 years in Western Australia under the Mentally Impaired Defendants Act 1996 (WA) (MID) has had his complaint to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities susbtantially upheld. The Committee stated that it “considers that the indefinite detention he was subjected to amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment”.

The Committee recommended, in terms that may have significant implications for both WA and other jurisdictions, including the Northern Territory, that:

(a)  Concerning the author: the State party is under an obligation:

       (i)            To provide him with an effective remedy, including reimbursement of any legal costs incurred by him, together with compensation.

       (ii)           To revoke immediately the 10 conditions of the author’s release Order replacing them with all necessary support measures for his inclusion in the community.

       (iii)          To publish the Committee’s Views and circulate them widely in accessible formats so that they are available to all sectors of the population.

       (b)           General measures: the State party is under an obligation to take measures to prevent similar violations in the future…  and requires the State party:

       (i)            To adopt the necessary amendments of the MID Act (WA), and all equivalent or related Federal and state legislations, in close consultation with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, ensuring its compliance with the principles of the Convention and with the Committee’s Guidelines on article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;

       (ii)           To ensure that adequate support and accommodation measures are provided to persons with mental and intellectual disability to enable them to exercise their legal capacity before the courts whenever necessary;

       (iii)          To ensure that appropriate and regular training on the scope of the Convention and its Optional Protocol, including on the exercise of legal capacity by persons with intellectual and mental disabilities, is provided to staff of the Review Board, members of the Law Reform Commission and the Parliament, judicial officers and staff involved in facilitating the work of the judiciary.

Here is the full text of the views adopted by the Committee on 8 September 2016.