Skip to main content

Osgoode Symposium looks at Mental Disorder and Criminal Justice

TORONTO, February 19, 2014 – A one-day, groundbreaking program exploring the transformation of the law relating to mentally ill offenders in the criminal justice system will take place on Friday, February 21, 2014 from 9am to 4:30pm at the Osgoode Professional Development Centre, 1 Dundas St. W., 26th floor, in Toronto. Members of the media are welcome to attend the National Symposium on Mental Disorder and Criminal Justice.

In the 23 years since the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision of R. v. Swain, the law under Part XX.1 has evolved continuously. Future reform, through Bill C-54, is on the horizon and presents new challenges not only for the criminal law practitioner, but for all who work with the mentally ill.

Speakers from the judiciary, review boards, the legal profession, academia, and the field of psychiatry from across the country will discuss the key issues, including:

• Bill C-54: Proposed reforms and potential Charter implications

• The Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) defence

• The evolving role of mental health courts

• Fitness, “forthwith” and how to avoid the pitfalls in the assessment process

• Automatism and toxic psychosis: whether Bouchard-Lebrun has changed the legal landscape

Keynote luncheon speaker will be John Kastner, four-time Emmy award winner, director and producer of the documentary, NCR: Not Criminally Responsible. Symposium chairs are Joan Barrett, deputy director, and Riun Shandler, crown counsel, of the Crown Law Office - Criminal, Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.

WHAT: The National Symposium on Mental Disorder and Criminal Justice presented by Osgoode Professional Development.

WHEN: Friday, February 21, 2014 from 9am to 4:30pm

WHERE: Osgoode Professional Development Centre, 1 Dundas St. W., 26th floor.

 -30-

York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York U’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York U is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York U’s 11 faculties and 27 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York U's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni. 

Media Contact:
Virginia Corner, Communications Manager, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 416-736-5820, vcorner@osgoode.yorku.ca