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Law 2101
Mysty Sybil Clapton

Criminal Law – Lecture 4 Summary INSANITY • LEGAL term, not medical term • now called “suffering from a mental disorder” • immaterial if accused had A/R and M/R: if mental disorder, then not criminally responsible 1. Mental condition at the time of trial = fitness to stand trial • Need to be able to instruct counsel • Understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings • If found unfit to stand trial, accused held in mental institution until such time as fit to stand trial • issue can be postponed to close of Crown’s case to see if Crown has sufficient case 2. Mental condition at time of offence = Defence (Not Criminally Responsible) s. 16(1): not criminally responsible for act or omission while suffering from a mental disorder if incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission or of knowing that it was wrong “Suffering from a mental disorder” • incapacity has to stem from a mental disorder • mental disorder means a disease of the mind (not brain) • anything that impairs the functioning of the mind can be a disease of the mind • origin doesn’t matter, can be physical or psychological Appreciate (wider than “know”) the nature and quality of the act • “nature” – bare physical nature • “quality” – e.g., that it will cause death Know that it was wrong • R. v. Chaulk: “wrong” means morally wrong, not legally wrong s. 16(2) - presumption in favour of sanity presumed not to suffer from a mental disorder until contrary is proved on the balance of probabilities s.16(3) burden to prove mental disorder is on whichever side raises the issue • R. v. Swain: Crown cannot raise mental disorder unless accused puts mental capacity in issue • so generally up to Accused to raise the defence Disposition • if accused found not responsible by reason of mental disorder (i.e., insane), disposition determined at end of trial • can be held for indefinite period until found safe to release • custody reviewed periodically • possible to have outright release • Insanity generally used only for most serious offences (murder) 2 AUTOMATISM • a mind/body split “dissociative state” • conscious mind not directing the bodily movements • e.g., reflex actions, moving in sleep, epileptic seizure • accused has neither M/R nor A/R (not a “willed act”) • need medical evidence to support 2 Types of Automatism: 1. Sane automatism • complete acquittal – accused walks 2. Insane automatism • dissociative state stems from a mental disorder “disease of mind” • treated under insanity rules To establish if sane or insane automatism: • internal/external approach • if state of automatism brought on by internal malfunction/weakness = insane automatism • continuing danger approach (Parks) • what should be done with this person:on the street or in custody? • if continuing danger to society = insane automatism R. v. Parks • asleep, drove 23 km., partly on 401, attacked in-laws • sleepwalking is not a neurological, psychiatric or other illness: no medical treatment for it • held: non-insane automatism • might have been a different result if the onus were on accused as it is today R. v. Stone • law presumes that mind is directing the body, that people act voluntarily • so that presumption has to be rebutted • accused must prove automatism on balance of probabilities R. v. Luedecke “sexsomnia” - sex with stranger while asleep • sane or insane automatism? • examine risk of recurrence of factors th
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