What are the challenges involved when working with clients living with psychotic illnesses, and what is some practical advice for their lawyers and advocates? I was asked to write an article on the challenges that those experiencing mental illnesses face when engaging with the legal system. What … [Read more...]
Looking at Mental Health Courts: Should Alberta Pursue Them?
The case of Donald Kushniruk was a tragedy, and it was a tragedy that could have been avoided with due diligence by the proper authorities. A man with no criminal record who had committed a minor crime, which ultimately led to a sentence of just seven days, spent more than two years in jail waiting … [Read more...]
A Judge Balances Controversy with Compassion
No person is criminally responsible for an act committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission or of knowing it was wrong. - Criminal Code of Canada, Section 16 This is known as the … [Read more...]
Bench Press 39-2: Who Calls the Shots on Treatment Orders?
A judge issued a treatment order for an accused in a psychotic state. The Crown indicated that a bed in one hospital would be available in six days. The judge ordered treatment “forthwith” at another hospital. Court services delivered the accused to the first hospital and left him in the hallway. … [Read more...]
Bench Press 38-4: Vampire Slayer Victim of a “cruel and unforgiving illness.”
Glen Race murdered two Halifax men in 2007. He pled guilty to both charges and then made an application to be found not criminally responsible (NCR). Mr. Justice Kevin Coady of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia reviewed the law and the legal requirements for a convicted person to be found not … [Read more...]