April 11, 2014 – Ottawa, ON – Department of Justice Canada
Bill C-14, the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act, received Royal Assent today, ensuring that the Government can deliver on its commitment to protect Canadians from not criminally responsible (NCR) accused persons who have been found to pose a higher risk of committing violence if released.
Bill C-14 ensures that public safety comes first in the decision-making process with respect to accused persons found NCR or unfit to stand trial on account of mental disorder. The legislation also enhances the safety of victims and promotes greater victim involvement. The Bill addresses concerns raised by victims and families of victims as well as the provinces and territories.
The legislation creates a new designation process which aims to protect the public from NCR accused persons who are found by a court to pose a higher risk of committing acts of violence. Families of some victims have applauded the Government's action to reduce the risk of repeat violent actions by creating the high-risk designation and ensuring that victims are better informed about the status of the NCR accused. Upon being designated by a court as high-risk, an NCR accused would be held in custody in a hospital and could not be released by a review board until the high-risk designation was revoked by a court.
The Criminal Code amendments will come into effect three months from the date of Royal Assent (on July 10) while provisions related to the National Defence Act will come into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.
"The safety and well-being of all Canadians is of paramount importance to our Government, and I am pleased to see another example of our Government's actions becoming law today, which is fitting as we celebrate and highlight Victims Week. Since the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act was reintroduced late last year, our Government has worked quickly to put public safety first, protect Canadians from NCR accused designated as high-risk, and enhance the rights of victims by passing this legislation. Through the creation of a new high-risk designation process, this legislation ensures that NCR accused who meet the higher-risk threshold are no longer a threat to their victims or communities across our country"
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
- Paloma Aguilar
Office of the Minister of Justice
- Media Relations
Department of Justice
Follow Department of Justice Canada on Twitter (@JusticeCanadaEn), join us on Facebook or visit our YouTube channel.