Submission to the VLRC's Crimes (Mental Impairment) Review - the application of the CMIA to the Children's Court - Dec 2013

The Commission has made a supplementary submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission's Review of the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 (CMIA). This addresses the supplementary terms of reference, which ask the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) to consider whether the application of the CMIA should be extended to the Children's Court.

The CMIA governs what happens when a person is charged with a crime and had a mental impairment at the time of the offense, or has disordered or impaired mental processes at the time of the trial. It sets out the criteria for determining if a person is unfit to stand trial, the defense of mental impairment, and the procedures for and what happens to people who are unfit to stand trial or who are found not guilty because of mental impairment.

The CMIA affects some of the most vulnerable members of the community in their interactions with the criminal justice system. It affects both people charged with a criminal offense who may have a cognitive or psycho-social disability. It also affects victims of crime and the family members of those affected.

This submission sets out the human rights framework that the VLRC should take into account in the Review.

The VLRC Report on the Review of the CMIA was tabled in Parliament on 21 August 2014. More information about the review is avaliable on the Victorian Law Reform website.

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