Queensland Law Society

Elder abuse concerns highlight a growing problem

This week Queensland Law Society released a critical report (PDF 2.6MB) on elder abuse following public consultation which highlighted a wide array of concerns with this growing problem.

The report is the culmination of  12 months’ work that included consultation among a range of legal industry, government and community stakeholders on the Joint Issues Paper on elder abuse (PDF 448KB).

The Society received more than 15 submissions, including a petition signed by over 40 signatories advocating for law reform to criminalise elder abuse.

Report findings state that key stakeholders consider there is a need to strengthen the laws affecting elderly Queenslanders, particularly in the areas of guardianship, tort law, workplace health and safety, criminal law and civil procedure

The report makes the following recommendations:

  • Review of s52(2) of the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) and r13 of the Personal Injuries Proceeding Regulations 2002 (Qld)
  • Nationwide uniform enduring powers of attorney
  • Education campaigns to help identify and prevent elder abuse
  • Establishing a specialist unit within Queensland Police Service’s State Crimes Operations Command to investigate complaints of elder abuse.

This paper has been presented to the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General.