Review Board for mental disorder

Decision

The Review Board must determine whether the accused represents a significant threat to the safety of the public. Depending on the case, it must also establish the measures which must be taken to control this threat and promote the accused’s reintegration into society.

 

Evidence considered by the Review Board: - In order to render its decision, the Review Board must obtain and analyze all the evidence relating to the dangerousness of the accused. It must take into account, among other things, the treatment being received by the accused, his current mental health condition, his attitude towards his illness and the recommendations provided by the health care team which has examined the accused.

 

Disposition which is the least restrictive to the liberty of the accused: - In all cases, the Review Board must render the decision which is the least restrictive to the liberty of the accused, taking into account the need to protect the safety of the public, the accused’s mental condition and his needs. The accused must respect the decision of the Review Board.


Generally, the decision is rendered verbally on the day of the hearing and recorded in the minutes, a copy of which is provided to the parties on the same day. However, the detailed reasons for this decision are forwarded to the accused, the hospital and other parties at a later date.

The Review Board must render the one of the following three dispositions in the case of  an accused found not criminally responsible:

  1. Decide that the accused be discharged absolutely if it concludes that he does not represent a significant threat to the safety of the public.
  2. Decide that the accused be discharged subject to conditions if it concludes that he represents a significant threat to the safety of the public, but that the risk will be adequately controlled if the accused complies with the conditions that the Review Board considers necessary to impose, and if it has serious reasons to believe that the accused will respect those conditions.
  3. Decide that the accused be detained in custody in a hospital, with or without the possibility of outings, if it concludes that the threat that accused represents to the safety of public cannot be adequately controlled if the latter were to live at liberty in society.

In the case of an accused declared unfit to stand trial, the Review Board must first and foremost determine whether the accused has become fit. If this is the case, it must send him back to the criminal court: the accused will then stand trial. In addition, if the Review Board is of the opinion that there is a risk that the accused will once again become unfit after having been released, it must order his detention until the day of the trial.

 

In contrast, if the Review Board determines that the accused remains unfit to stand trial, it must render one of the following two dispositions:

  1. Decide that the accused be discharged subject to conditions if it concludes that he represents a significant threat to the safety of the public, but that the risk will be adequately controlled if the accused complies with the conditions that the Review Board considers necessary to impose, and if it has serious grounds for believing that the accused will respect those conditions.
  2. Decide that the accused be detained in custody in a hospital, with or without the possibility of outings, if it concludes that the threat that the accused represents to the safety of public cannot be adequately controlled if the latter is released in society.
  3. Recommendation that proceedings be stayed: When the Review Board is evaluating an accused found unfit to stand trial in order to reassess his mental condition and determine whether this condition has changed since its last hearing, it may become convinced that the accused will likely never be fit to stand trial.
    If he does not represent a significant threat to the safety of the public, it can then recommend to the criminal court that the proceedings be stayed—in other words, that the criminal charges against the accused not be pursued.

 

When the Review Board makes such a decision, its jurisdiction over the accused will end if the criminal court follows its recommendation.

The Review Board may delegate to the person in charge of the hospital the power to decrease or increase the restrictions on the liberty of the accused within any limits set out for in its decision.

 

The power to increase restrictions on liberty may be used if the mental condition of the accused deteriorates, and if the latter becomes more of a threat to the safety of the public. If that is the case, the hospital must immediately notify the accused and make a record thereof in his file. If this increased restriction on liberty must last for more than seven days, it must also inform the Review Board, which must shall hold a new hearing as soon as practicable.

The accused may request an English translation of the decision and its reasons. The Review Board pays for the costs of this translation, but it does not assume the translation costs for other documents - for example, the translation of psychiatric reports.



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