Review Board for mental disorder

Decision

Evidence considered by the RBMD

To render its disposition, the RBMD must consider and analyze all the evidence to assess the threat the accused poses to the public’s safety. This includes all the facts that justify restricting the accused’s liberty or those that favour the accused’s discharge.

Among others, the RBMD takes into account the following factors:

  • the treatment being provided to the accused
  • the accused’s current mental condition
  • the accused’s attitude toward the illness
  • the recommendations of the accused’s treatment team

Necessary and appropriate disposition

In every case, the RBMD must render the disposition that is necessary and appropriate in the circumstances and the accused must comply with this disposition.

The disposition is usually rendered orally on the day of the hearing. It is recorded in the minutes, a copy of which is given to the parties the same day. The reasons for the disposition are written and subsequently sent to the accused, the person in charge of the hospital, and the other parties.

The RBMD renders one of the following four dispositions:

Absolute discharge

  • where the RBMD finds that the accused is not a significant threat to the public’s safety

    OR
     
  • where the RBMD cannot conclude with certainty that the accused is a significant threat.

Conditional discharge

  • where the RBMD finds that the accused is a significant threat to the public’s safety, but that this threat will be sufficiently reduced if the RBMD imposes certain conditions

    AND
     
  • where the RBMD believes that the person will comply with the conditions.

Detention with or without conditions

Where the RBMD finds that the threat posed by the accused to the public’s safety cannot be adequately controlled if the accused is released freely into the community.

Detention in hospital without outings

Where the accused is declared a high- risk. Detention in custody without the possibility of outing unless:

  • The person in charge of the hospital approves the outing for medical reasons or for treatment, and the accused is escorted by an authorized person;

    AND
     
  • a structured plan has been prepared to address any risk related to the outing so that the outing will not present an undue risk to the public.

The RBMD must first determine whether the person has become fit to stand trial.

Accused is fit

If the RBMD finds that the accused has become fit, the person is sent back before the criminal court and the court shall try the issue and render a verdict.. If the RBMD finds that there is a risk that the person will become unfit after being discharged, it must order the person’s detention until the next appearance before the criminal court. Or it can order the accused to be conditionally discharged.

Accused is unfit

If the RBMD finds that the accused is still unfit to stand trial, it must render one of the following dispositions:

  • Conditional discharge
    If the RBMD finds that the accused is a significant threat to the public’s safety, but that this threat will be sufficiently reduced if the RBMD imposes certain conditions and if the RBMD believes that the person will comply with the conditions.
  • Detention with or without conditions
    If the RBMD finds that the threat posed by the accused to the public’s safety cannot be adequately controlled if the accused is released into the community.

Recommendation to stay criminal charges

The RBMD might find that the accused is unlikely to ever be fit to stand trial.

  • If the person no longer poses a significant threat to the public’s safety, the RBMD may then recommend that the criminal court stay the criminal proceedings, that is to say, put an end to the criminal proceedings against the accused.
  • If the criminal court orders a stay, the accused will no longer have to appear before the RBMD for these criminal charges.

The RBMD may delegate the authority to the person in charge of the hospital to direct that the restrictions on the accused’s liberty be increased or decreased within any limits set out in the disposition.

The power to decrease liberty may be used if the accused’s mental condition deteriorates or the accused becomes a greater threat to the public’s safety.

In this case, the person in charge of the hospital must immediately inform the accused and record it in the accused’s file. If this restriction on the accused’s liberty lasts longer than seven days, the person in charge must also inform the RBMD, which will schedule a new hearing as soon as possible.

The parties may ask to have the disposition and reasons translated into English. The RBMD pays the translation costs but not the cost to translate other documents in the file, for example, psychiatric reports.

When it holds a review hearing for a high-risk accused, the RBMD determines whether there is a substantial likelihood that the accused will use violence that could endanger the life or safety of another person.

  • If the RBMD is convinced that it is unlikely, it must send the file to the Superior Court of criminal jurisdiction to have the finding of high-risk accused reviewed.
     
  • If it finds it likely, it must order the accused’s detention in the hospital without outings, except where certain conditions are met.


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