Plaintiff “rights to record” medico-legal assessments considered in NSW

Plaintiff “rights to record” psychiatric medico-legal assessments was recently considered in the State of New South Wales v Hollingsworth [2023]. 

The case involves a patient that insisted that he would only agree to undertake a psychiatric medico-legal assessment on the condition that he be permitted to make a recording. Psychiatrists approached to conduct the assessment refused to proceed on this basis once becoming aware of the attempts to record. As a result, Court orders were sought to compel the plaintiff to undertake the assessment without making a recording.

The plaintiff argued that he had a legal right to record the assessment and noted he felt anxious about the risk of misspeaking or being misinterpreted.

On appeal it was declared that no right to record existed in New South Wales and psychiatrists were free to decline such requests. The Court also commented on the potential adverse consequences that may arise if recordings or transcripts of medico-legal assessments were frequently introduced as evidence, including impacts upon the assessment itself and parties involved, adding to further disruption.


More news & views