Assessment and Referral Court

Not all criminal matters proceed through the Magistrates Courts. At Hutchinson Legal, our experienced lawyers appear at all specialist courts such as the Children’s Court, Assessment and Referral Court (‘ARC’) and Drug Court.

The Assessment and Referral Court (‘ARC’) is a specialist Court that assists people who have significant mental health issues.

ARC currently operates at the following Courts:

  • Melbourne Magistrates’ Court
  • Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court
  • Frankston Magistrates’ Court
  • La Trobe Valley Magistrates’ Court
  • Korumburra Magistrates’ Court

You are usually required to live within the Court’s catchment area, however, this criteria is at the discretion of the Magistrate.

Eligibility Requirement

Under the Magistrates’ Court Act 1989 (Vic) you may be eligible to participate in the ARC program if you satisfy three requirements:

  1. Confirmation of Diagnosis;

For the purposes of ARC, such diagnoses include

  • Mental Illness—Depression and Anxiety is not usually included, unless it is severe in nature;
  • Intellectual Disability;
  • Acquired Brain Injury;
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder;
  • Neurological Impairment, includes and not limited to dementia
  1. Functional need;

For the purposes of ARC, functional needs include

  • Self-Care;
  • Self-Management;
  • Social Interaction;
  • Communication
  1. Needs criteria or Need for Services.

For purposes of ARC, need includes:

  • Psychological Assessment;
  • Welfare Services;
  • Health Services;
  • Mental Health Services;
  • Disability Services;
  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services;
  • Housing and Support Services;
  • Services that operate programs which assist a person to reduce the risk of re-offending through its program

Upon the satisfaction of the legislative eligibility criteria, there are also other requirements which need to be satisfied before entry into the ARC Program, including

  • Resolution of all Police matters;
  • A plea of guilty;
  • Accused is not in custody, but on bail or summons;

At Hutchinson Legal we have lawyers who will be able to provide you with advice on your eligibility to appear in the ARC Court and who are able to represent you in the ARC Court.

Meet our lawyers

Grant Hutchinson

Telephone (+61 3) 9870 9870
Fax (+61 3) 9870 5704
Email Grant Hutchinson