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Course Name Mental Health and the Criminal Law
Course Code CLWP 6789
Course Credits 3.0
Pre/Anti-requisites N/A
Course Description

Issues of mental health in the criminal justice system are often treated as narrow sub-topics in criminal law courses, issues that arise in respect of questions of fitness to stand trial or the defence of not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder. Important as these points of contact between mental health and criminal law are, this focus is radically under-representative of the ways in which the criminal law and criminal processes affect those suffering with mental health issues. In this, it misses the significant social and policy implications of recognizing that mental health is a constant and widespread concern in the practical day-to-day operation of the criminal justice system. This course will provide students with an understanding of a range of doctrinal and institutional locations where issues of mental health are worked with in the criminal justice system, including determination of fitness to stand trial, the defence of NCRMD, sentencing considerations, treatment orders, assessment orders, warrant of committals, therapeutic remands, and bail hearings. It will also examine the role of bodies like Mental Health Courts and the Ontario Review Board, as well as Post-Charge Diversion programs. But beyond equipping students with this doctrinal and institutional understanding, this course will ask students to consider broader questions of the systemic role of criminal law in regulating those with mental health issues, the relationship between criminal responsibility and mental health, and what an approach to criminal justice system that takes mental health as a serious, central concern might look like.

Upcoming Offerings

Summer 2021

Specialization Criminal Law and Procedure
Status Elective
CPD Hours Eligible LSO CPD: 9h Substantive; 2h Professionalism Professional LLM courses may be eligible for CPD/MCLE credits in other Canadian jurisdictions hours. To inquire about hours and credit eligibility, please email cpd@osgoode.yorku.ca T
NCA Status N/A

All courses and schedules are subject to change.