section 672.17

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

No interim release or detention order may be made for an accused while an assessment order is in place.

SECTION WORDING

672.17 During the period that an assessment order made by a court in respect of an accused charged with an offence is in force, no order for the interim release or detention of the accused may be made by virtue of Part XVI or section 679 in respect of that offence or an included offence.

EXPLANATION

Section 672.17 of the Criminal Code of Canada pertains to the detention or release of an accused person who has been charged with a criminal offence. When a court orders an assessment to be conducted on the accused person, no interim release or detention orders can be made by virtue of Part XVI or section 679 in relation to the offence or an included offence. An assessment order can be issued by the court under certain circumstances to determine whether the accused person is fit to stand trial or if they have a mental disorder that may affect their criminal responsibility for the offence committed. This assessment order may be conducted by a medical professional or a psychiatrist, and it aims to evaluate the mental state of the accused person and determine their competency to stand trial. In effect, Section 672.17 of the Criminal Code of Canada seeks to ensure that an accused person's rights are protected while the assessment is ongoing. The order ensures that the accused person is not unduly detained without a proper determination of their mental status, if such an assessment is required. In practice, this section of the Criminal Code highlights the importance of fairness, impartiality, and transparency within the criminal justice system, particularly when it comes to the treatment of accused persons with mental health issues or cognitive impairments. It ensures that such individuals receive a fair hearing, and that any decisions made regarding their release or detention are made based on their specific circumstances and with due regard for their fundamental human rights.

COMMENTARY

Section 672.17 of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the assessment order made by the court in respect of an accused charged with an offence. As per this section, no interim release or detention order can be made in respect of that offence or an included offence, during the period that an assessment order is in force. This provision is included to ensure that an accused person is not simply detained for an indefinite period of time, simply because an assessment order is in place. The main purpose of an assessment order is to determine whether the accused person is fit to stand trial or not. It is a process by which the court assesses the mental condition of the accused person, and whether they are capable of understanding the charges against them as well as the legal proceedings that follow. The court may also order a psychiatric assessment to determine the mental state of the accused person at the time of the offence. During this assessment process, it is important to ensure that the accused person's rights are not violated. The assessment should be conducted fairly and impartially, and the accused person should have access to legal representation. This is where Section 672.17 comes into play - it ensures that the accused person is not detained or released during the assessment process, and that their rights are protected. There are several factors that need to be considered when deciding whether to make an assessment order. For example, the court must consider the seriousness of the offence, the mental capacity of the accused person, and whether they have previously been found unfit to stand trial. The assessment can take several weeks or even months, depending on the complexity of the case. Section 672.17 is an important provision in the Criminal Code of Canada, as it ensures that the rights of the accused person are protected during the assessment process. It ensures that the accused person is not simply detained for an indefinite period of time, without due process. This provision also helps to ensure that the assessment process is fair and impartial, and that the accused person has access to legal representation throughout the process. In conclusion, Section 672.17 is a crucial provision in the Criminal Code of Canada that ensures the fair treatment of an accused person during the assessment process. It ensures that the accused person's rights are protected, and that they are not simply detained without due process. This provision is essential to maintaining the integrity of Canada's justice system.

STRATEGY

Section 672.17 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides some strategic considerations when dealing with an assessment order made by the court in respect of an accused charged with an offence. An assessment order is a mandatory psychiatric evaluation that can occur at any stage of the criminal justice process. It is used to determine the mental state of the accused and whether the person requires psychiatric care or treatment. One strategic consideration is that the assessment order can impact the interim release or detention of the accused. During the assessment period, the accused cannot be released or detained by virtue of Part XVI or section 679 in respect of the charged offence or an included offence. This means that the accused cannot exercise their right to bail or be detained before trial based on the charges or included offences. As a result, the accused may face an extended period of detention, which can impact their mental health and well-being. Another strategic consideration is that the assessment order can provide an opportunity to gather more information about the accused's mental health. The assessment process can help determine whether the person has a mental disorder that could impact their criminal responsibility or whether they require specialized mental health services. This information can be useful in building a defence strategy, negotiating a plea deal or sentencing, or advocating for mental health treatment and support. Some strategies that could be employed when dealing with section 672.17 of the Criminal Code include: 1. Seeking a speedy assessment: The assessment process can be lengthy, and it can impact the accused and their case significantly. One strategy is to work with the court and the mental health system to expedite the assessment process, ensuring the accused can be released on bail or detained before trial. 2. Building a strong defence strategy: The assessment can provide valuable information about the accused's mental state, which can be used to build a stronger defence strategy. This strategy can involve engaging mental health experts, reviewing medical records, and conducting independent assessments to challenge the prosecution's case. 3. Seeking alternative measures: If the assessment reveals that the accused has mental health issues, alternative measures such as mental health treatment, diversion programs, or community-based interventions may be more appropriate than detention or incarceration. These measures can help address the underlying issues while reducing the risk of reoffending. 4. Advocating for mental health support: The assessment can provide an opportunity to highlight the need for better mental health support and resources in the criminal justice system. This strategy can involve raising awareness, lobbying for changes to policies and practices, and working with community organizations and mental health experts to improve the system's response to mental health issues. In conclusion, section 672.17 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides strategic considerations when dealing with an assessment order made by the court in respect of an accused charged with an offence. The assessment process can impact the accused's interim release or detention, provide an opportunity to gather more information about their mental health, and present a chance to advocate for mental health support and resources. Employing strategic measures such as seeking a speedy assessment, building a strong defence, seeking alternative measures, and advocating for mental health support can improve the outcomes for accused persons with mental health issues in the criminal justice system.