INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
672.34 Where the jury, or the judge or provincial court judge where there is no jury, finds that an accused committed the act or made the omission that formed the basis of the offence charged, but was at the time suffering from mental disorder so as to be exempt from criminal responsibility by virtue of subsection 16(1), the jury or the judge shall render a verdict that the accused committed the act or made the omission but is not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder.
Section 672.34 of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with cases in which an accused has committed an illegal act or omission, but cannot be held criminally responsible due to their mental disorder. The section applies to cases in which the defendant suffers from a mental disorder at the time of the offense that renders them incapable of appreciating the nature or quality of their actions, or of understanding that their actions were morally wrong. In such cases, the section requires the judge or jury to find that the accused committed the act or omission that forms the basis of the offense. However, the verdict must also state that the accused is not criminally responsible on account of their mental disorder. This means that the accused will not be sentenced to imprisonment or any other criminal penalty, but rather, they will be subject to treatment and care under the supervision of appropriate medical professionals. The purpose of this section is to ensure that individuals with mental disorders who commit offenses are not punished for their actions, but instead receive the appropriate care and treatment they need to recover from their condition. It also aims to protect public safety by ensuring that those who are not fully responsible for their actions are not released back into society without first obtaining proper treatment to minimize the risk of future offenses.
Section 672.34 of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with a vital issue in criminal law: the concept of criminal responsibility. In a nutshell, this section pertains to the situation where an accused person is found to have committed an act or omission that forms the basis of the offence charged but is exempted from criminal responsibility due to a mental disorder. The section provides guidance for the outcome of a trial in such a scenario. The provision is underpinned by Subsection 16(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, which offers a defense for criminal responsibility in cases where the accused person experienced a mental disorder that prevented them from understanding the nature of their actions, knowing that their behavior was wrong, or exercising the power of choice with respect to their actions. This means that when a person has a mental disorder that impairs their capacity to think rationally, make decisions, or control their actions, they may not be held criminally responsible for their behavior. Section 672.34 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides guidance for how a court or jury should proceed when the defense of the mental disorder is raised successfully. It requires the jury or the judge, in cases where a jury is not present, to find that the accused committed the act or omission that forms the basis of the offense, but is not criminally responsible for the same on account of mental disorder. Simply put, the accused does not go free when found not criminally responsible; instead, they are subject to some form of treatment or supervision. One point worth noting is that this section of the Criminal Code of Canada protects the rights of those who have mental disorders. It offers them a chance to be relieved of criminal responsibility and receive appropriate treatment and care. On the other hand, it also ensures that the criminal justice system upholds the principles of justice by holding individuals accountable for their actions and protecting society from those who pose a threat to public safety. Moreover, this section highlights the need for an effective mental health system able to identify and manage mental disorders in a timely and appropriate way. Mental disorders are often undiagnosed, or diagnoses may come too late, leading to tragic consequences. Therefore, proper screening and treatment of mentally ill individuals could prevent incidents of criminal behavior, promote public safety, and improve the lives of those with mental disorders. In conclusion, Section 672.34 of the Criminal Code of Canada serves as a necessary tool in the criminal justice system. It provides guidance for how to approach cases where an accused person is exempt from criminal responsibility due to mental disorder and ensures that they receive the appropriate care and treatment needed. The provision protects the rights of individuals with mental disorders while also upholding the principles of justice and public safety.
Section 672.34 of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision that plays a significant role in Canadian criminal justice. According to the section, the court should find an accused person who committed an offence culpable if they were suffering from a mental disorder and could not be criminally responsible. When dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada, several strategic considerations should be taken into account. Some of these strategic considerations include: Legal Representation As a defendant, it is crucial to have legal representation, particularly in cases involving mental illness. A lawyer can ensure that the defendant's mental condition is properly assessed and presented to the court. In cases where the defendant is declared not guilty by reason of mental disorder, a lawyer can help secure treatment and rehabilitation that respects the individual's needs and rights. Expert Witnesses Expert witnesses can play a key role in cases that involve mental disorder. They can provide assessments, diagnoses, and testimonies that help the court understand the nature and extent of the defendant's mental illness. Expert witnesses may include forensic psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. It is essential to work with an expert witness who has experience working in Canadian criminal courts. Plea Bargaining Plea bargaining can be an effective strategy when dealing with section 672.34. A defendant may decide to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduction in sentence or to avoid a trial. The plea bargaining process can be complex, and it is often advisable to consult with a lawyer before accepting any plea bargain. Rehabilitation In cases where a defendant is found not guilty by reason of mental disorder, rehabilitation should be a top priority. Rehabilitation can help the defendant address their mental health issues and enable them to reintegrate into society. Rehabilitation can take many forms, including therapy, medical treatments, and support groups. It is essential to work with professionals who have experience working with people who have mental illness. Public Perception Another strategic consideration when dealing with section 672.34 is public perception. Mental illness is often stigmatized, and there may be negative attitudes towards individuals found not guilty by reason of mental disorder. It is important to work with a lawyer who is culturally sensitive and can help address these issues appropriately. Conclusion In conclusion, section 672.34 of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision that deals with mental disorder in criminal cases. When dealing with this section, several strategic considerations must be taken into account, including legal representation, expert witnesses, plea bargaining, rehabilitation, and public perception. Working with a skilled lawyer who specializes in mental health cases can help ensure that the defendant receives a fair hearing and appropriate treatment.