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Mental Health Court Act

BILL NO. 21

(as introduced)

2nd Session, 60th General Assembly
Nova Scotia
56 Elizabeth II, 2007



Private Member's Bill



Mental Health Court Act



H. David Wilson
Glace Bay



First Reading: November 26, 2007

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

An Act Respecting
a Mental Health Court Program
in the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Mental Health Court Act.

2 In this Act,

(a) "Mental Health Court" means the program established within the Provincial Court pursuant to Section 3;

(b) "Provincial Court" means the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia.

3 (1) Subject to Section 7, within one year of the coming into force of this Act, the Government shall establish a program within the Provincial Court to be known as the Mental Health Court.

(2) The Mental Health Court shall use the best practices of similar programs in effect in Canada to deal with persons with a mental illness or intellectual disability who are in conflict with the law.

4 (1) The Mental Health Court shall facilitate appropriate proceedings and hearings to identify those persons who suffer from a mental disorder or intellectual disability that makes them unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible for their actions.

(2) For those accused who suffer from a mental disorder or intellectual disability but to whom subsection (1) does not apply, the Mental Health Court shall facilitate appropriate proceedings and hearings to

(a) effectively deal with accused persons who have a mental disorder or intellectual disability within the provisions of the Criminal Code (Canada);

(b) provide accused persons who have a mental disorder or intellectual disability with effective treatment that involves the least restrictive intervention that is reasonable in the circumstances in the least restrictive environment that is appropriate;

(c) protect the rights of the public, the rights of accused persons and the integrity of the criminal justice system; and

(d) hold accused persons who are found to be guilty of offences accountable for their behaviour.

5 Subject to Section 7, the Government shall ensure that the Mental Health Court is staffed by permanent, dedicated judges, crown attorneys, duty counsel, mental health workers and social workers, and such psychiatrists, clerks and administrative assistants as are required.

6 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) respecting the operation of the Mental Health Court;

(b) respecting hearings or procedures in the Mental Health Court;

(c) respecting eligibility requirements for accused persons to enter the Mental Health Court;

(d) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;

(e) respecting any matter or thing the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.

(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.

7 The moneys required for the purpose of this Act shall be paid out of moneys appropriated by the Legislature for that purpose.


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2007 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created November 26, 2007. Send comments to legc.office@gov.ns.ca.