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.


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