Class Notes (838,386)
Canada (510,872)
Psychology (3,528)
PSY328H1 (73)
Huggons (5)

Chapter 8

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Chapter Eight The Role of Mental Illness in CourtPresumptions in Canadas Legal SystemTwo elements must be present for criminal guilt to be established o Actus reus a wrongful deed o Mens rea criminal intentBoth of these elements must be found beyond a reasonable doubt for a guilty verdict to be reached Fitness to Stand Trial Unfit to stand trial refers to an inability to conduct a defense at any stage of the proceedings on account of a persons mental disorder Ex If a defendant is experiencing an episode of schizophrenia and lacks the ability to understand the situation and tell the lawyer the facts of the caseRv Prichard3 criteria were delineated o Whether the defendant is mute of malice ie intentionally o Whether the defendant can plead to the indictment o Whether the defendant has sufficient cognitive capacity to understand the trial proceedingsBill C30many problems with it and a number of changes were instituted with the enactment of it o A defendant is unfit to stand trial is her or she is unable on account of mental disorder to conduct a defense at any stage of the proceeding before a verdict is rendered or to instruct counsel to do so and in particular unable on account of mental disorder to a understand the nature or object of the proceedings b understand the possible consequences of the proceedings or c communicate with counselRaising the Issue of Fitness o The issue of a defendants fitness may be raised at various points from the time of arrest to the defendants sentence determinationWhen a plea is entered when a defendant chooses not to be represented by counsel and during sentencing o The defense or Crown may raise the issue of a defendants fitnessHow Many Defendants Are Referred for Fitness Evaluations o 5000 fitness evaluations were conducted annually in CanadaWho Can Assess Fitness o Only medical practitioners have been allowed to conduct courtordered assessments of such aspects as fitness to stand on trial and criminal responsibility o Psychologists are excluded from conducting courtordered assessmentsNot in USAustralia o The medical practitioners need not have any background in psychiatry or experience with forensic populations
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