Pre-Trial Issues

AuthorHy Bloom, Richard D Schneider
chapter four
Pre-Trial Issues
It should be noted that while the formal psycho -legal issues of f‌itness to
stand trial and c riminal responsibility a re certainly the most common situ-
ations for psychiatric evidence to be sought or adduced, there are other
junctures at which it can be most impor tant. Psychiatric consultation and
evidence may be of use in a wide variet y of scenarios. The need for psychiat-
ric expert ise can arise in any instance where a mental health, psychological,
or behavioural issue becomes a focus of concern or interest in a proceeding
before a criminal cour t. There is a great deal of room for the creative use of
psychiatry, provided it meets the th reshold test of relevance and reliability.1
1) Psychiatric Aspects of Bail-Worthiness
Mentally disordered offenders may experience diff‌iculty obtainin g judicial
interim release because their menta l condition may have implications for
both the primar y and secondary grounds. T he bail-worthiness of a mental-
ly disordered accused may depend on whether he has suff‌icient psychi atric
supervision in place. Psychiatric ev aluations with respect to judicial i nter-
im release can raise some strategic concerns for defence counsel. The clin-
ician will often f‌i nd it necessary to review the current al legations against
the accused as they may well have implications for his suitabil ity for re-
lease; however, that information may turn out to be inculpatory or ot herwise
1 R v Mohan, [1994] 2 SCR 9; R v Olscamp, [1994] OJ No 2926 (Gen D iv).

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