If a guardian or a substitute decision-maker (SDM) requires more authority to make decisions for a person who does not have decision-making capacity, the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) can grant Special Powers.

What are Special Powers Orders?

Special Powers Orders are legal orders that can:

  • direct someone to live in a particular place
  • authorise someone to be detained in a particular place
  • authorise the use of force, so that medical or dental treatment can be given.

They are very restrictive and used as a last resort. They must only be made if there is a risk to someone’s health or safety

Special Orders must be reviewed by a date chosen by SACAT and must be reviewed each year if they authorise someone to be detained in a particular place.

They can also be changed (varied or revoked) if there is a change in the person’s circumstances.

Making an application

An application for Special Powers can be made by:

  • a guardian appointed by SACAT, or
  • a substitute decision-maker appointed under an Advance Care Directive (ACD).

Special Powers can’t be used to detain a person in a mental health treatment facility, or in a correctional institution.

More information

For more information about Special Powers, you can: