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Statutory Protection for Guardian ad Litem Panel Members

On 7 December 2010, the Governor assented to the Courts and Crimes Legislation Further Amendment Act 2010 (the Act). The Act amends other legislation and is significant for the for the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Panel as it provides a statutory defence to GAL Panel Members who act in good faith in a range of jurisdictions.

In general, the amending provisions provide that anything done or omitted to be done by a member of the GAL Panel who is appointed by a relevant Court/Tribunal to represent an incapacitated person/party to the proceedings does not subject the GAL Panel member personally to any action, liability, claim or demand if the thing was done, or omitted to be done, in good faith for the purpose of representing the incapacitated person/party. Instead, any such liability will attach itself to the Crown.

A GAL Panel Member means the Panel constituted as the Guardian ad Litem Panel by the Office of the General Counsel, NSW Department of Justice.

The Act amends the following legislation:

  • Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act 1997 - Section 71 - Representation of Parties
  • Adoption Act 2000 - Section 124A - Exclusion of Personal Liability
  • Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 - Section 101A Guardian ad Litem - Exclusion of Personal Liability
  • Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993 - Section 33 Right of Appearance
  • Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal Act 2001 - Section 36 Representation of Parties

A copy of the Act can be found at:

Courts and Crimes Legislation Further Amendment Act 2010

If you have any queries on any of the above, please contact the Guardian ad Litem Panel Co-ordinator at