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mental disorder defense

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In 1892 the nation of Canada was just a quarter century year old. At the time, the Criminal Code disallowed conviction of anyone who was deemed to suffer from a “disease of the mind” (Criminal Code, s 16). Section 16, or the mental disorder defense, of the Criminal Code of Canada remained largely unaltered for 100 years and as a result has failed to keep up with the times. As it reads now, section 16 stands in violation of the charter. Attempts at amending section 16 have either crumbled in parliament or been ineffective. It also gives citizens a legal method to claim insanity in avoidance of conviction. The mental disorder defense clause as it currently reads in Canada’s Criminal Code is faulty due to the fact that it contains several critical loopholes. The mental disorder defense, or section 16 of the criminal code, not only violates the Canadian Charter of Rights but also basic human treatment. The fairness of the crown being able to deem an individual unfit to stand trial or to be sentenced to an undetermined period of confinement can be dated back more than 30 years. The working paper The Criminal Process and Mental Disorder, prepared by the Law Reform Commission of Canada, argues that the dangers of unsuitable attitudes regarding the Lieutenant Governor’s detainment plan had only just begun in 1975 (The Criminal Process and Mental Disorder, 17). The Mental Disorder Project launched not long after, in 1982. The project raised the issue of the compliance of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Crown being permitted to penalize by means of an undetermined confinement without the prosecutors having first established prima facie (first impression) of guilt. However it was due to the fact of the accused being mental... ... middle of paper ... ...PBdP/BP/prb9922-e.htm>. Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c C-46 s 16. Web. "Criminal Liability: Insanity and Automatism." . N.p., 23 July 2013. Web. 14 June 2014. . "Human Rights Review 2012." . N.p., 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 14 June 2014. . "Response to the 14th Report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights." Government of Canada, Department of Justice, Criminal Law Policy Section. N.p., 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 14 June 2014. . R.V.Parks. 2 S.C.R. 871. Supreme Court of Canada. 1992. Supreme Court of Canada. Web. 14 June 2014. R.V.Swain. 1 S.C.R. 933. Supreme Court of Canada. 1991. Supreme Court of Canada. Web. 14 June 2014.
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