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    review board until the high-risk designation was revoked by a court.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
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Kubernetes, Docker and containers are changing the world, and how companies are deploying their software and running their infrastructure. With the shift in how applications are built and deployed, new challenges must be solved. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, will discuss the implications of containerized applications/infrastructures and their impact on the enterprise. In a real world example based on Kubernetes, he will show how to ...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Aspose.Total for .NET is the most complete package of all file format APIs for .NET as offered by Aspose. It empowers developers to create, edit, render, print and convert between a wide range of popular document formats within any .NET, C#, ASP.NET and VB.NET applications. Aspose compiles all .NET APIs on a daily basis to ensure that it contains the most up to date versions of each of Aspose .NET APIs. If a new .NET API or a new version of existing APIs is released during the subscription peri...
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...