The High Rates of Mental Health Conditions Experienced by Queensland Police Officers: A Wicked Problem for Legislative Regulation?
Following a spate of workplace suicides and claims for extended psychiatric leave, the Australian Government and Beyond Blue identified Queensland police officers as experiencing higher rates of mental health conditions than most other occupations in Australia. Drawing on regulatory theory and the wicked problem framework, this thesis seeks to answer the question: does framing the high rates of mental health conditions experienced by Queensland police officers as a ‘wicked problem’ justify the need for legislated meta-regulatory reforms? In doing so, the regulatory space is mapped and the effectiveness of current regulatory responses are analysed using doctrinal, socio-legal and policy-oriented methodologies. After gaps in the existing regulatory frameworks are explored, meta-regulation is advanced as a mechanism for tackling this on-going problem.