Factors Affecting Community Treatment Orders Research Study

A first of its kind study in Australia.

This study brings together experts from various research fields to study the use of law to enforce psychiatric treatment in Australian communities through Community Treatment Orders (CTOs). The use of CTOs in Australia is significantly higher than in other global jurisdictions, and their application varies within Australia itself.

Factors Affecting Community Treatment Orders Research Study (FACTORS) examines the disproportionate impact of CTOs on certain groups and the reasons for their varied use in different locations. It’s the first study to assess the broad impact of CTOs on policy and law. We aim to understand the implications of why and how this forced treatment varies, with the ultimate goal of reducing such coercive actions.

Project investigators

Our dedicated team comprises of experts from diverse fields such as law, policy analysis, data research, and social sciences. We are unravelling the complex factors influencing the use of CTOs.

Project updates

Recognition at the 2024 International Academy of Law and Mental Health in Barcelona

Our research has been recognised on an international stage with the acceptance of two symposiums at the planned 2024 International Academy of Law and Mental Health in Barcelona. This opportunity will allow us to share our findings and exchange ideas with a global audience, contributing to the ongoing conversation around the implications that CTOs have for human rights.


Significant progress was made this year as we secured access to CTO data across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. This data means that we can accurately study CTO practices across these three states, and in 2024 we are hoping to add data from South Australia.

An integral part of this project is to understand the realities faced by individuals affected by CTOs. This Advisory Group will ensure that our research remains grounded as we move forward in 2024.

This panel have been instrumental in broadening our approach to understanding the complexities surrounding CTOs in Australia. These experts have shaped our research methodologies, and provided insights into relevant mental health policies, legal contexts and the application of CTOs globally.

An international expert panel examined recent developments in the limitations and challenges of CTOs in use across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Listen to their valuable insights around the ethical and human rights concerns in this webinar presented by La Trobe University’s Law in Context Research Cluster and Social Change and Equity Research Theme.