October 2nd, 2020
Board Members and Stakeholders,
The Ontario Review Board continues to meet its mandate. By way of update, the Board has for the last six months, as you’re all aware, been conducting all of its hearings remotely. We have now conducted approximately 1000 hearings which have proceeded smoothly and in accordance with our pre-COVID schedule.
Questions have been asked as to when we will resume on-site hearings at the hospitals. At present there does not appear to be a logical target date for a resumption of on-site hearings. For the foreseeable future we will be holding all of our hearings remotely via audio-visual connection.
As mentioned in our previous message, where an accused has health concerns or other logistical issues related to their available mode of connection to the hearing, they have a number of options. They may:
1) Request to be absent for all or part of the hearing (with counsel in attendance),
2) Phone-in to the hearing,
3) Canvas the other parties with respect to a re-scheduling, or
4) Apply for an adjournment to a time when an on-site hearing may be possible.
Any party having reservations with respect to the Board’s jurisdiction to conduct hearings employing this technology can apply to have the matter adjourned to a time when we might anticipate a resumption of on-site hearings. Any such application will be considered from all perspectives and, in particular, our paramount consideration, the protection of the public.
Richard D. Schneider,
Chair, Ontario Review Board
The Ontario Review Board annually reviews the status of every person who has been found to be not criminally responsible or unfit to stand trial for criminal offences on account of a mental disorder. The Ontario Review Board is established under the Criminal Code of Canada. The Board is made up of judges, lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists and public members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
Did You Know?
The foundations for the role and responsibilities of the Ontario Review Board go back to Great Britain in the 17th century and the writings of Sir Matthew Hale.