Blackstone Chambers

Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand


The enactment of the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003 has led to a dramatic increase in the number of cases where the issue of unfitness to stand trial is tested by the courts. In the vast majority of cases offenders are found to be fit to stand trial.

The enactment of the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003 has identified a new cohort of special needs offenders, for whom a novel regime of care and management has been established. Cases involving unfitness to plead and the disposal of offenders with an intellectual disability now dominate forensic mental health services, and far exceed cases involving legal insanity.

Bulter praised Ellis’s ability to look at cases through a human rights lens. “Tony has a very active imagination in terms of seeing problems,” he said Page 4 – New Zealand Law Society Wellington Branch Council Brief December 2010



Tony will accept cases in the following areas in the High Court or above: