Click here to close now.




















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    review board until the high-risk designation was revoked by a court.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
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.
In their session at 17th Cloud Expo, Hal Schwartz, CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), and Chuck Paolillo, CTO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), provide a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. In his role as CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), Hal Schwartz provides leadership and direction for the company.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit f...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
"We have been in business for 21 years and have been building many enterprise solutions, all IT plumbing - server, storage, interconnects," stated Alex Gorbachev, President of Intelligent Systems Services, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Chuck Piluso presented a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Prior to Secure Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Te...
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
The speed of software changes in growing and large scale rapid-paced DevOps environments presents a challenge for continuous testing. Many organizations struggle to get this right. Practices that work for small scale continuous testing may not be sufficient as the requirements grow. In his session at DevOps Summit, Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, explained the best practices of continuous testing at high scale, which is rele...
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
"We specialize in testing. DevOps is all about continuous delivery and accelerating the delivery pipeline and there is no continuous delivery without testing," noted Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect at Spirent Communications, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
How do you securely enable access to your applications in AWS without exposing any attack surfaces? The answer is usually very complicated because application environments morph over time in response to growing requirements from your employee base, your partners and your customers. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Haseeb Budhani, CEO and Co-founder of Soha, shared five common approaches that DevOps teams follow to secure access to applications deployed in AWS, Azure, etc., and the friction an...
"Alert Logic is a managed security service provider that basically deploys technologies, but we support those technologies with the people and process behind it," stated Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Digital Transformation is the ultimate goal of cloud computing and related initiatives. The phrase is certainly not a precise one, and as subject to hand-waving and distortion as any high-falutin' terminology in the world of information technology. Yet it is an excellent choice of words to describe what enterprise IT—and by extension, organizations in general—should be working to achieve. Digital Transformation means: handling all the data types being found and created in the organizat...