Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Health
  • not the latest version
  • This version was reprinted on 24 May 2016 to make a correction to section 63(2) under section 25(1)(j)(ii) of the Legislation Act 2012.
4 Outline


This Act provides a system for the compulsory care and rehabilitation of persons who have an intellectual disability and who have been charged with, or convicted of, an offence. There are 2 ways in which a person of that description can become subject to the Act—


by an order made in the course of a criminal proceeding brought against the person; or


by changing the regime applicable to the person from that under the Corrections Act 2004 or the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 to the regime under this Act. Such a change generally requires an order of the Family Court.

Persons subject to this Act are known as care recipients. Care recipients who are special care recipients must receive secure care, while other care recipients may be eligible for supervised care, that is care that may be given in a place other than a secure facility.


Part 2 sets out the principles that must guide courts and persons exercising powers over care recipients. Special principles apply when the care recipient is a child or young person.


Part 3 requires the preparation of a care and rehabilitation plan—


for every person who, following a criminal proceeding brought against the person, is required to be cared for under this Act; and


for every person with an intellectual disability for whom care under this Act is proposed.

Every care and rehabilitation plan must be preceded by a needs assessment of the person. Wherever possible, the assessment must involve consultation with the assessor or assessors who diagnosed the person’s intellectual disability, and with the person’s lawyer, and with members of the person’s family or whanau and others who are close to the person.


Part 4 provides for a change of regimes from that under the Corrections Act 2004 or the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 to the regime under this Act. This is an option for certain prison inmates with an intellectual disability and for certain patients under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 with an intellectual disability. If such a person is to receive care under this Act, the co-ordinator has to apply to the Family Court for a compulsory care order for the person. The Family Court may make such an order if satisfied that the person has an intellectual disability, and that he or she has been assessed under Part 4 as well as Part 3.


Part 5 is concerned with the status and rights of care recipients. It deals with the following matters:


the care recipient’s obligation to accept care lawfully given (section 47):


the specific rights of care recipients (sections 48 to 59):


the circumstances in which care recipients may be placed in seclusion, restrained, or receive medical treatment without their consent (subpart 2):


the requirement for certain care recipients to stay in facilities, and the scope for authorised periods of leave (subpart 3):


the status of care recipients who are liable to detention under a sentence (subpart 4).


Part 6 is concerned with reviews of the condition and status of care recipients. These reviews inform decisions taken about the nature and duration of the care given. The provisions include—


an initial review by the Family Court of a care recipient’s care and rehabilitation plan and any compulsory care order (subpart 1):


regular clinical reviews of every care recipient at intervals of not more than 6 months (subpart 2):


rules (in subpart 3) governing the duration and changes to the nature of the care given to the following classes of care recipient:


special care recipients who are liable to detention under a sentence:


care recipients no longer subject to the criminal justice system:


clinical advice given to Ministers of the Crown who decide, under the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003, on changes to the status of special care recipients who are detained because they have been found unfit to stand trial or because they have been acquitted on account of insanity.


Part 7 is concerned with inspections and inquiries. District inspectors must regularly inspect facilities under this Act and act on complaints; they may also conduct formal inquiries. Under subpart 2 a High Court Judge may examine care recipients and order the release, or change of status, of certain classes of care recipient.


Part 8 provides authority to detain care recipients and to retake those who escape.


Part 9 sets out the procedures that govern the hearing and determination by the Family Court of applications under this Act.


Part 10 states that the provisions of this Act give way to determinations under certain Acts, and prevail over others.


Part 11 deals with matters of administration. It provides for the appointment or designation of office holders, specialist assessors, and medical consultants. It also authorises the making of standards and guidelines.


This section is only a guide to the general scheme of this Act.

Section 4(1)(b): amended, on 1 June 2005, by section 206 of the Corrections Act 2004 (2004 No 50).

Section 4(4): amended, on 1 June 2005, by section 206 of the Corrections Act 2004 (2004 No 50).