Project No. 69
The insanity defence had been criticised for failing to provide a practical rule, causing confusion for juries and leading to erratic results. Some commentators had proposed that it be abolished whilst others recognised that the defence is essential to the moral integrity of the criminal law and although requiring reformulation, should remain.
In December 1976, the Commission was asked to consider:
The Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Defendants) Act 1996 (WA) and the Mental Health (Consequential Provisions) Act 1996 (WA) implemented a number of the Commission’s recommendations. The Mentally Impaired Defendants Act established the Mentally Impaired Defendants Review Board, provided that courts should determine whether a defendant should be the subject of a custody order and outlined the criteria and procedure for fitness to stand trial. The Consequential Provisions Act redefined mental illness in the Criminal Code 1913 (WA) and amended the procedure for mental fitness to stand trial and the consequences for an acquittal on account of unsoundness of mind in the Criminal Code.
Last updated: 31-Jan-2017
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