Review Board for mental disorder

Role

When the Tribunal acts as a Review Board for mental disorder (RBMD), it renders decisions under the Criminal Code. Its decisions are binding, like those of a court.

The Review Board’s role

  • Verdict of unfit to stand trial
    To assess the accused’s mental condition and determine whether he or she has become fit to stand trial. If this is the case, the RBMD orders that this person be sent back to the criminal court.
  • Verdict of not criminally responsible
    To assess the threat posed by the accused to the safety of the public based on the accused’s mental condition. The Board decides whether the person should be discharged, with or without conditions. If it decides that the person should be detained in custodyin a hospital, it determines the measures to be taken to ensure the safety of the public.

When the person accused is discharged subject to conditions or remains detained in custody, the RBMD must hold a new hearing at least once a year to reassess the person’s mental condition. At each hearing, the RBMD will determine whether a different disposition should be rendered. The annual review is no longer necessary if the accused becomes fit to stand trial or receives an absolute discharge.

To learn more, consult the section Review of dispositions.

Who appears before the RBMD

A person charged with a criminal offence must appear before the RBMD when a criminal court judge finds that the person is:

  • unfit to stand trial
    The person does not understand what he or she has been accused of, the possible consequences of the criminal charges, or is unable to communicate with his or her lawyer to conduct the person’s defence. As no trial has been held, the person is still presumed innocent.
     
  • not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder
    A trial is held but the person is not convicted or acquitted. It is decided that at the time of the offence, the person was suffering from a mental disorder and was incapable of appreciating the nature of the acts.


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