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Investigations

Open justice: Forensic patients in NSW

It’s a fundamental principle of our legal system that courts should be open and the media should be free to report on court proceedings. Yet the man known as Patient A has been held in the NSW Forensic Hospital for 12 years and cannot be identified.

Under NSW law, forensic patients —those who have committed a serious crime but have been found not guilty by reason of mental illness— cannot be identified. The law is supposed to protect vulnerable individuals from the prying eyes of the media, but some legal experts say what it actually does is protect the mental health authorities who run the Forensic Hospital from public scrutiny. Listen to ACIJ Director Tom Morton's report into the man known as Patient A, who is fighting a legal battle for the right to use his own name in the media. To listen (external site)