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Courts and Tribunals Tasmania

Mental Health Diversion

The Mental Health Diversion List (MHDL) Program operates with dedicated Magistrates in the Hobart & Launceston registries of the Tasmanian Magistrates Court.


The Court has decided to change its way of dealing with people with mental health issues by providing seperate lists or sittings for them with dedicated Magistrates and teams that focus on treatment and support.  By focussing on treatment and support the court ams to to provide an opportunity for eligible individuals to voluntarily address their mental health and/or disability needs associated with their offending behaviour.

Read the short explanatory article about the Mental Health Diversion List and the Chief Magistrate's presentation (PowerPoint) about the List.

A MHDL Information Pamphlet and the MHDL Procedural Manual can also be downloaded in PDF format. 

Crime Prevention Award

In October 2010 the Mental Health Diversion List received a Certificate of Merit as part of the Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards. The annual Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards are sponsored by the Heads of Australian Governments and members of the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management - Police as a joint Australian Government, State and Territory initiative. For more information see: 

The Awards reward good practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crimes in Australia, to encourage public initiatives and to assist governments in identifying and developing practical projects that will reduce violence and other types of crime in the community.

The Mental Health Diversion List achieved a ranking in the top 10 nation-wide. The Court is honoured to receive this recognition for its role in preventing and reducing violence in the community.

In further exciting news, the Mental Health Diversion List has also received national recognition as best practice in the National Justice CEOs (NJCEOs) Group's ‘best practice’ Guidelines in aid of diversion and support programs for people living with mental illness who have contact with the criminal justice system. For more information on the Guidelines click here.

Evaluation of the List

An evaluation of the first 18 months of operations of the Mental Health Diversion List (MHDL) pilot in Hobart is available on this webpage. The preliminary results of the effectiveness of the MHDL are positive. The evaluaton report can be downloaded in PDF format.


A MHDL steering commitee oversees the continued development of the list, and resolves strategic issues regarding the list's operations. 

The steering committe comprises: 

  • Chief Magistrate Michael Hill (Chair)
  • Dr John Crawshaw, Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Services
  • Mr Jim Connolly, Administrator of Courts
  • Scott Tilyard, Assistant Commissioner,Tasmania Police
  • Mr Michael Stevens, Deputy Secretary, Department of Justice
  • Professor Kate Warner, Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania