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James P. Thomson and Janice E. Blackburn recently received a favourable decision from the Supreme Court in R v. Conception. Section 672.58 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides that where an accused is found unfit to stand trial, the court may direct that treatment of the accused be carried out for a specified period and that the accused submit to that treatment by the person or at the hospital specified. Section 672.62 of the Criminal Code provides that no court shall make a disposition under s. 672.58 without the consent of the person in charge of the hospital where the accused is to be treated. In this case, a judge in Toronto’s Mental Health Court issued a treatment order pursuant to s. 672.58 directing that Mr. Conception be treated at one of two designated hospitals, despite that fact that no bed was available at either hospital. The hospitals successfully appealed the disposition and Mr. Conception appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the consent requirement of s. 672.62 does not relate to the timing of carrying out the order, but only to the treatment itself and that s. 672.58 violates Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The appeal was dismissed.
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