Welcome!

News Feed Item

Coming into Force of the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act

Federal government actions leading to better protection of Canadians and their communities

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/11/14 -- Justice Canada

Bill C-14, the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act, came into force across Canada today. This new legislation strengthens the Criminal Code's decision-making process relating to accused persons found Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) on account of mental disorder to make public safety the primary consideration, enhance victim safety, and provide victims with a stronger voice in the process. Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Peter MacKay highlighted its significance today.

Quick Facts


--  Bill C-14 ensures that public safety comes first when courts make
    decisions with respect to any accused person found NCR or unfit to stand
    trial on account of mental disorder.
--  In addition, for even greater public safety, those NCR accused persons
    who are found by a court to pose a higher risk of committing future acts
    of violence, the legislation creates a new high-risk designation
    process. Upon being designated by a court as high-risk, an NCR accused
    would be held in custody in a hospital and could not be released by a
    review board until the high-risk designation was revoked by a court.
--  Other effects of being designated as a high-risk NCR accused include a
    possible extension by the review board of the period between reviews (up
    to three years), the denial of unescorted passes into the community, and
    the condition that escorted passes could only be granted for medical
    reasons and subject to sufficient safeguards to protect public safety.
--  The legislation also enhances the safety of victims by ensuring that
    they are specifically considered when decisions are being made about
    mentally disordered accused persons; ensuring that they are notified
    when such an accused is discharged and where they intend to reside, if
    the victims so desire; and allowing for non-communication orders between
    the accused and the victim.
--  The reforms do not affect access to treatment for any mentally
    disordered accused person.
--  The Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act also amends the National
    Defence Act to ensure consistency in the mental disorder regime in the
    military justice system. Those amendments will come into force at a
    future date to be fixed by Order in Council.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to protecting all Canadians and keeping our communities and families safe. I am very pleased to see the coming into force of another piece of legislation, introduced by this Government, to help ensure greater safety in Canada. Since the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act was reintroduced late last year, our Government has worked quickly to put public safety first; protect Canadians from NCR accused designated as high-risk; and enhance the rights of victims by passing this legislation. Through the creation of a new high-risk designation process, this legislation ensures that NCR accused persons who meet the higher-risk threshold are no longer a threat to their victims or communities across our country."

Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Produits connexes

Fiche d'information : Loi sur la reforme de la non-responsabilite criminelle

Associated Links

Royal Assent for Bill protecting Canadians from high-risk accused persons found Not Criminally Responsible on account of mental disorder

Minister MacKay Holds Roundtable to Discuss the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act

Government of Canada Reinstates Legislation Proposing a Safer Regime for Dealing with Accused Persons Found Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder

Follow Department of Justice Canada on Twitter (@JusticeCanadaEn), join us on Facebook or visit our YouTube channel.

Backgrounder

Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act

The Government of Canada is committed to standing up for victims of crime and making streets and communities safer for Canadians. The Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act will ensure that public safety comes first in the decision-making process with respect to accused persons found Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder (NCR). It would enhance the safety of victims and promote greater victim involvement in the Criminal Code mental disorder regime.

Brief Overview of the Criminal Code Mental Disorder Regime

The Criminal Code mental disorder regime applies to a very small percentage of accused persons. Under Canadian criminal law, if an accused person cannot understand the nature of the trial or its consequences, and cannot communicate with their lawyer on account of a mental disorder, the court will find that the person is "unfit to stand trial." Once an accused becomes fit to stand trial, they will then be tried for the offence with which they were initially charged.

If a person is found to have committed the act that constitutes an offence while lacking the capacity to appreciate what they did or know that it was wrong due to a mental disorder at the time, the court makes a special verdict of "Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder" (NCR). The person is neither convicted, nor acquitted.

An accused person found either unfit to stand trial or NCR is referred to a provincial or territorial review board, which decides on which type of order to make, which, depending on the circumstances, could be custody in a hospital, a conditional or absolute discharge.

Proposed Amendments to the Mental Disorder Regime

Public Safety is Paramount

The Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act includes several changes to the mental disorder regime of the Criminal Code. It explicitly makes public safety the paramount consideration in the court and the review board decision-making process relating to accused persons found to be NCR or unfit to stand trial, consistent with decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, most recently R. v. Conway.

In addition, the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act codifies the meaning of the phrase "significant threat to the safety of the public," which is used in the Criminal Code as the test to determine whether the review board can maintain jurisdiction and continue to supervise an accused person found to be NCR or unfit to stand trial. The Act states that, consistent with the Supreme Court of Canada's interpretation, the phrase means "a risk of physical or psychological harm to members of the public - including any victim of or witness to the offence, or any person under the age of 18 years - resulting from conduct that is criminal in nature but not necessarily violent". The codification will ensure more consistency in the application of this test.

Creating a High-Risk Designation

The legislation amends the Criminal Code to create a process for the designation of NCR accused persons as "high-risk" where the accused person has been found NCR for a serious personal injury offence and there is a substantial likelihood of further violence that would endanger the public. A high-risk designation could also be made in cases in which the acts were of such a brutal nature as to indicate a risk of grave harm to the public. Those designated as high-risk NCR accused persons cannot be granted a conditional or absolute discharge, and the designation can only be revoked by a court following a recommendation of the review board. This designation will apply only to those found NCR and not to persons found unfit to stand trial.

The legislation makes it clear that a high-risk NCR accused person will not be allowed to go into the community unescorted and that escorted passes would only be allowed for medical reasons or treatment purposes and only if a structured plan is in place to address any undue risk to public safety. Also, the review board may decide to extend the review period to up to three years for those designated high-risk, instead of annually. The high-risk NCR designation would not affect access to treatment by the accused.

Enhancing Victims' Involvement

The legislation will enhance the safety of victims and provide them with opportunities for greater involvement in the Criminal Code mental disorder regime by:


--  ensuring they are notified, upon request, when the accused is discharged
    and providing them with information regarding the accused's intended
    place of residence;
--  allowing for non-communications orders between the accused and the
    victim; and
--  ensuring that their safety is considered when decisions are being made
    about the accused person.

The Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act aims to ensure consistent interpretation and application of the law across the country. The reforms do not change the existing Criminal Code eligibility criteria for the exemption from criminal responsibility on account of mental disorder. The Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act also amends the National Defence Act to ensure consistency in the mental disorder regime in the military justice system. Those amendments will come into force at a future date to be fixed by Order in Council.

Contacts:
Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-943-8506

Media Relations Office
Department of Justice
613-957-4207

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
"We focus on composable infrastructure. Composable infrastructure has been named by companies like Gartner as the evolution of the IT infrastructure where everything is now driven by software," explained Bruno Andrade, CEO and Founder of HTBase, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Tintri focuses on the Ops side of the DevOps, which basically is pushing more and more of the accessibility of the infrastructure to the developers and trying to get behind the scenes," explained Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...