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Fitness to Stand Trial

Fitness to Stand Trial

Fairness First and Foremost

By Richard D Schneider and Hy Bloom


Of all the issues that bring mental health practitioners and the criminal courts together, fitness to stand trial is by far the most common. In Canada, thousands of fitness assessments, psychiatric reports, fitness hearings, and verdicts of either “fit” or “unfit” to stand trial are rendered every year. For such a common event, one would be inclined to think that, for the most part, the law is uncontroversial; that most of the issues have been settled. Fitness to Stand Trial lays out the law as it is seemingly settled, and discusses several areas where the law is much less settled. What exactly is required of the accused in terms of their ability to think rationally? Does one need to be “fit to stand trial” in order to proceed with a bail hearing? Or, post-verdict, with sentencing? Can an otherwise unfit accused become “fit enough” with the assistance of counsel? Does the test for unfit to stand trial contain a prospective element? These and many other less-than-clear aspects of the fitness rules are explored fully in this new volume.


1. A Brief History of the Fitness Rules
2. “Unfit to Stand Trial”: The Test
3. When the Issue of Fitness May Arise
4. Psychiatric Aspects of Fitness
5. Assessing Fitness to Stand Trial
6. Trial of the Issue of Fitness
7. Upon a Verdict of Unfit
8. Self-Representation: Fitness and Difficult Accused
9. Fitness in the United Kingdom and the United States

Table of Cases
About the Authors


Published 21 December 2018
Publisher Irwin Law (Canada)
ISBN 9781552214978
Australian RRP $99.00
International Price $90.00
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Law - Canadian Law
Law - Health Law

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