“This foundational text helps demystify the Canadian legal mental health system.… Each chapter of the book deals with an integral part of the regime and the volume proceeds in a sequence that makes the legal mental health system easy to understand. This well-written, user-friendly guidebook will be of assistance to practitioners, academics, law students and judges.”
– From the First Foreword by The Honourable Michelle O’Bonsawin, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
“People with mental health issues continue to experience multiple legal barriers when interacting with the legal system. This book rises to the challenge of addressing the experiences of those with mental health issues and assists in navigating an increasingly challenging socially contextual legal cycle.… [T]his is a handbook that will be a gamechanger for those who want to understand the issues facing those with mental health issues who come into conflict with the law, and those who work with them in the legal system.”
– From the Second Foreword by The Honourable Judge Michelle D. Stanford, Provincial Court of British Columbia
Law and Mental Health in Canada: Cases and Materials addresses important aspects of both individual and systemic advocacy on behalf of individuals with serious mental health issues. It surveys the field in all respects, addressing civil mental health legislation across Canada; the mental disorder provisions in the Criminal Code; other areas of criminal law where mental health is an issue; the representation of Indigenous clients with psychiatric histories; and Coroner’s Inquests into the deaths of persons in crisis at the hands of police and in institutional settings.
The book includes a special chapter on representing persons with serious mental health issues, as counsel or court-appointed amicus curiae, in all manner of legal proceedings. An anti-racist, anti-colonial and intersectional approach is also employed throughout. Trauma-informed and empathic representation is emphasized. This book also compiles every leading case and references to commentary that inform debate and thoughtful exploration of the key issues in this area of law. It offers an overview of the broad range of legal issues that arise in the real-life practice of mental health law.
Law and Mental Health in Canada: Cases and Materials is the product of a special team of Canadian authors with wide-ranging backgrounds from across the nation. The experience seasoned practitioners of mental health law bring to the knowledge and teaching expertise of the academics in the author group, together with the lived experiences of those who contributed content, all serve to enrich the book. It includes the insights of both lawyers and non-lawyer advocates to maximize the wealth of litigation and lived experience.
Who Should Read This Book
- Crown Counsel who appear in criminal court and encounter fitness or criminal responsibility issues
- Defence Counsel who represent accused persons with serious mental health issues before the Courts or at the Review Board
- Wills and estates lawyers who advise on power of attorney or consent and capacity issues
- Health lawyers who represent parties before the courts in consent and capacity matters or represent the officers in charge of Psychiatric Facilities that detain or supervise the accused
- Judges who hear fitness or NCR matters or determine capacity issues in guardianship applications
- Hospitals and psychiatric facilities whose officers in charge need to know their duties and obligations under the Mental Health Act and Part XX.1 of the Criminal Code
- Consent and Capacity Board members who are called upon to determine issues of involuntary committal and capacity
- Doctors, psychiatrists, physicians, forensic consultants, and other mental health professionals who assess patients for treatment capacity or may be called as witnesses at Review Board hearings
- Community mental health agencies who provide care and supervision to persons subject to Review Board jurisdiction
- Law professors and law students enrolled in studies with course material in Canadian mental health law
General Editors & Authors
Anita Szigeti and Ruby Dhand
Contributors to the volume include Jennifer Chambers, Cassandra DeMelo, Carter Martell, Jacqueline Petrie, Sarah Rankin, Naomi Sayers, and Amy Shoemaker.