INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
672.5(13.1) The Review Board may adjourn the hearing for a period not exceeding thirty days if necessary for the purpose of ensuring that relevant information is available to permit it to make or review a disposition or for any other sufficient reason.
Section 672.5(13.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada gives the Review Board the power to adjourn a hearing for up to thirty days if it needs more time to collect relevant information before making or reviewing a disposition. The purpose of the Review Board is to oversee the treatment and management of individuals who have been found not criminally responsible for a criminal offense due to a mental disorder. In these cases, the criminal justice system recognizes that the individual's mental disorder played a significant role in their criminal behavior and that they may not be fully responsible for their actions. As such, the Review Board is responsible for monitoring the individual's progress, determining if they pose a risk to the public, and making decisions about their treatment and release. The power to adjourn a hearing is an important tool for the Review Board in ensuring that it has all the relevant information it needs to make informed decisions. For example, the Board may adjourn a hearing if it needs more time to obtain a psychiatric assessment or to gather information from the individual's healthcare providers or family members. In addition to collecting relevant information, the Review Board may also adjourn a hearing for any other sufficient reason. This is a broad discretion that allows the Board to respond to unforeseen circumstances or issues that may arise during the hearing process. Some examples of other sufficient reasons may include the unavailability of a key witness, a procedural issue that needs to be resolved, or a request by one or both parties to adjourn the hearing. Overall, Section 672.5(13.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada plays an important role in ensuring that the Review Board has the necessary time and information to make informed decisions about the treatment and management of individuals found not criminally responsible for a criminal offense due to a mental disorder.
Section 672.5(13.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada grants the Review Board the power to adjourn a hearing for a period of up to thirty days. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that the Board has access to all of the relevant information necessary to reach a just and fair disposition. The provision further states that the adjournment may be granted for any sufficient reason. The importance of this provision cannot be overstated. The Review Board has the power to make critical decisions with respect to the liberty and care of those who have been found not criminally responsible or unfit to stand trial as a result of a mental disorder. A failure to have access to all relevant information could lead to unjust outcomes and potentially put public safety at risk. The adjournment provision acts as a safeguard against such outcomes, ensuring that the Board has the necessary time to gather all relevant information before making a decision. The provision also recognizes that the Board may require additional time for other sufficient reasons beyond access to relevant information. Such reasons could include unforeseen circumstances that may arise during a hearing, such as the sudden appearance of a previously unknown witness, or an unexpected procedural matter. An adjournment in such cases can help the Board reach a well-considered decision. It is worth noting that the adjournment provision does come with some limitations. The Board can only adjourn a hearing for a maximum of thirty days. This limited timeframe is in recognition of the fact that individuals who are subject to Board hearings are often in a state of limbo, and an indefinite delay in the process could exacerbate their mental health condition. As such, the provision seeks to balance the need for the Board to have access to all relevant information with the importance of timely dispositions. The adjournment provision also highlights the importance of the role of the Review Board in the criminal justice system. The Board's mandate is to balance the needs of the individual with the need to protect the public. The provision recognizes that to achieve this balance, the Board requires access to all relevant information. Without this information, the Board may not be able to make a decision that is both fair to the individual and protective of public safety. In conclusion, Section 672.5(13.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision that ensures that the Review Board has access to all relevant information necessary to make just and fair decisions. The provision acts as a safeguard against unjust outcomes, while at the same time recognizing the importance of timely dispositions. The provision highlights the important role of the Review Board in balancing the needs of the individual with the need to protect the public, and underscores the importance of ensuring that the Board has access to all relevant information.
Section 672.5(13.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a mechanism for the Review Board to adjourn a hearing for up to 30 days if necessary for the purpose of ensuring that relevant information is available to make or review a disposition. This provision highlights the importance of having all relevant information available to make informed decisions on whether an individual should be released or detained and for developing appropriate conditions for release. In this article, we will explore some strategic considerations for dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada and the strategies that could be employed. Firstly, it is important to note that the decision to adjourn a hearing under section 672.5(13.1) should only be made when it is necessary for the purpose of ensuring that relevant information is available. This provision should not be used as a routine practice to delay proceedings. Therefore, a careful analysis of the information or evidence required to make or review a disposition needs to be conducted before adjourning a hearing. The Review Board should ensure that the information or evidence sought is not frivolous or unnecessary and that there is a valid reason for requiring it. Secondly, the Review Board should take into account the impact of adjourning a hearing on the person subject to the review. Delaying a hearing may cause anxiety, stress, and uncertainty for the individual, particularly if they have been detained for an extended period. Therefore, the Review Board should balance the need for additional information against the potential harm caused by delaying the hearing. In some cases, it may be appropriate to proceed with the hearing, making a decision based on the available evidence and conducting a further review once additional information is obtained. Thirdly, it is important to consider the reasons for the adjournment. In some circumstances, an adjournment may be necessary due to factors outside the control of the Review Board, such as the availability of key witnesses or experts. In such cases, it may be appropriate to grant an adjournment. However, if the reason for the adjournment is due to a failure to adequately prepare or investigate, the Review Board should consider whether it is appropriate to adjourn the hearing or proceed with the information that is available. Fourthly, it is essential to have a clear plan for obtaining the additional information required before the adjourned hearing. This includes identifying the nature of the information required, who will obtain it, and the timeline for obtaining it. Having a clear plan will reduce the risk of further delays and ensure that the additional information is obtained in a timely manner. Finally, it is important to recognize that adjourning a hearing under section 672.5(13.1) can be a double-edged sword. While it may allow the Review Board to consider additional information, it can also delay the resolution of the matter, prolong the detention of the individual, and increase the resources required for the review. Therefore, strategic considerations should be made regarding the timing of the adjournment and the potential consequences of the delay. In conclusion, section 672.5(13.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a mechanism for the Review Board to adjourn a hearing for up to 30 days if necessary. Nevertheless, strategic considerations should be made when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada, taking into account the impact of adjournments on the individual, the reasons for adjourning, having a clear plan, and understanding the potential consequences. Employing these strategies can ensure that the Review Board has all the information required to make informed decisions without causing unnecessary delay.