False Imprisonment in Locked Wards: The Public Advocate v C, B

Esther Erlings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


On 24 May 2019, the Full Court of the Supreme Court of South Australia, consisting of judges Kourakis (CJ), Kelly and Hinton, dismissed an appeal by The Public Advocate against a finding that it had unlawfully detained an incapacitated person in a locked ward for failure to obtain specific orders under guardianship legislation, notwithstanding The Public Advocate's prior appointment as the person's guardian in matters of accommodation. In dismissing the appeal, the court can be said to have simply brought South Australia's law in line with international developments. Yet the decision's practical implications may be far-reaching, as it is now likely that a large number of people may have been, and continue to be, unlawfully deprived of their liberty. This case note discusses The Public Advocate v C, B [2019] SASCFC 58, situates it within the international context, and highlights its implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalFlinders Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • False imprisonment
  • Supreme Court of South Australia
  • guardianship legislation


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