National Register of Enduring Powers of Attorney
The submission to the Attorney-General’s Department in relation to the National Register of Enduring Powers of Attorney – Public Consultation Paper (the Consultation Paper) was prepared by the Law Council of Australia.
The Law Council strongly supports the Australian Government’s work to date in promoting and protecting the rights of older Australians, and its commitment to combatting financial abuse of older Australians.1 The Australian Government’s commitment to these issues is outlined in its National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-2023 (National Plan).2 The Law Council reiterates its support for measures to reduce the prevalence of all abuse of older Australians.
While in theory, a national register of enduring powers of attorney (EPOAs) (National Register) might improve efficiency, transparency and accountability, the Law Council expresses concerns about the staged reform process and design of the National Register as currently outlined in the Consultation Paper.
The Law Council’s primary recommendation is that a National Register should be developed after the implementation of nationally consistent laws relating to EPOAs and a national enduring form. Having regard to the case law regarding instances of financial abuse over the last decade, the Law Council further considers that these causes are best addressed by nationally consistent legislation.
You can read the full submission below.
1 The Law Council recognises that in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, the term ‘elder’ refers to appointed community representatives with cultural and other responsibilities, and may not necessarily denote, or be associated with, a person’s age.
2 Council of Attorneys-General, National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-2023 (8 July 2019).