Sometimes certain decisions need to be forcibly brought into effect.

A guardian can apply to SACAT for special powers to:

  • direct the protected person to reside in a particular place
  • authorise the detention of a person in a particular place
  • allow the use of reasonable force to bring into effect:
    • medical or dental treatment decisions
    • other decisions about care and wellbeing.

SACAT cannot make an order for special powers unless satisfied that the health or safety of the person or others, would be seriously at risk.

Who can apply?

Only a guardian appointed under a guardianship order or a substitute decision maker under an advance care directive can apply to SACAT for orders for special powers.

An application for special powers can be made at the same time as an application is made for a guardianship order, or at a later time.

Apply to SACAT

All applications to SACAT are made online. You can use a computer, tablet or smart phone.

Apply now

You can also submit applications over the phone with the help of a community access officer.

Call 1800 723 767 during business hours.

Reviewing or changing special powers

SACAT must review an order granting:

  • special powers to detain a person within six months and then once each year
  • any other special powers every three years.

These are automatic reviews - you do not need to do anything.

If there is new information or a change in circumstances you can apply to change or cancel an order for special powers at any time.

I don't agree with SACAT's decision

You can apply for a review of a SACAT decision granting special powers to detain a person. No permission is required to seek this review.

For a review of a SACAT decision granting any other special powers (not including a power to detain a person), you will first need to seek the permission of the Tribunal.

The Full Court of the Supreme Court of South Australia made a decision in the case of Public Advocate v C, B on Friday 24 May 2019.

The decision relates to the powers of guardians at common law and under special powers orders of the Tribunal.

SACAT is not able to give legal advice.  If you are considering making an application as a result of the decision it may be of assistance for you to seek legal advice as the first step.

Individuals may seek legal advice from the Legal Services Commission or a lawyer. Aged care facilities should seek legal advice from their lawyers.

The Office of the Public Advocate Information Service may also be able to provide assistance.

Applications for guardianship orders will continue to be considered according to our usual procedures.

SACAT only lists matters for urgent interim orders if the welfare of the person about whom the order is being sought is at risk in the current circumstances.

SACAT will assess applications to ensure that urgent hearings are maintained for people who are at immediate risk.