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Hearings about the appointment of guardians are generally open to the public and information about proceedings can be published.

However information that identifies or is likely to identify the adult cannot be published unless QCAT approves this. QCAT will only do this in situations where it is satisfied that the publication of the adult’s identity is in the public interest or in the interests of the adult.

In some limited circumstances QCAT can make an order, known as a limitation order. There are different types of limitation orders which can: 

  • restrict access by another party to a relevant document or information - confidentiality order
  • prevent the publication of proceedings - non-publication order, or
  • limit who may attend a hearing - adult evidence or closure order.

QCAT must be satisfied that the limitation order is necessary to:

  • avoid harm or injustice to any of the parties, or
  • obtain information that might not otherwise have been given in some specific cases.

Limitation orders are only approved in exceptional cases and any person involved in the application for the appointment of a guardian can apply for one. QCAT may also make a limitation order on its own initiative.

In most situations the tribunal will make a decision about an application for a limitation order at the hearing. This allows the tribunal to hear the views and submissions of any person involved in the application or who may be negatively affected by the limitation order.

Some limitation orders can be applied for and approved before the hearing. In this situation, the order ends at the start of the hearing and is no longer effective. If a party wants to apply for another limitation order about the relevant document or information included in the hearing, they will need to tell the tribunal at the beginning of the hearing.

A non-publication order may also be made in relation to a particular guardianship case. In this situation, the following must comply with the terms of the non-publication order:

  • publication of decisions
  • reasons given by QCAT in the proceedings
  • access to the registers
  • records of the proceedings.

Descriptions of QCAT's jurisdiction on this website are general information only. They do not definitively describe the types of applications on which QCAT can make decisions. The relevant legislation determines QCAT's jurisdiction. If you are unsure about your legal rights, you should seek legal advice. Your individual circumstances should guide any actions taken to resolve your dispute.

Last reviewed
9 November 2011
Last updated
27 March 2012

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