Who are forensic patients?
Forensic patients are people who are either:
- subject to supervision orders (supervision orders last for an indefinite time, and can be custodial or non-custodial);
- on remand under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. 1997 (Vic) (‘CMIUT Act’);
- ordered under the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) (‘Crimes Act (Cth)’) to be detained in safe Lawful control over a person which prevents them leaving. A person under arrest is in police custody and is not free to go. A person in prison is serving a custodial sentence that keeps them confined to the prison grounds. in prison or in a hospital for a specified period (‘Commonwealth forensic patients’).
Fitness to stand trial and acquittal
The CMIUT Act deals with the procedures at a criminal trial in the Supreme An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. or the County Court where the accused’s fitness to stand trial is in question, or where the (1) A defendant’s response to the legal claims made against them in court by a prosecutor or plaintiff. (2) A lawful excuse for conduct: for example, causing minor injuries to someone while saving them from certain death. (3) ‘The defence’ is also a way of referring to the defendant and their legal team. of not guilty on the grounds of mental impairment is raised. Whereas, Division 7 of Part 1B of the Crimes Act (Cth) deals with acquittal because of mental illness.
Part 12 of the MHA 2014 deals with forensic patients and the criteria and process around being taken to another designated mental health Formal delivery of legal documents to a person to tell them there are court proceedings against them which they must defend, or to make sure a witness in a case knows when they have to go to court to give evidence. and applying to the MHT for review of such a decision. (See Chapter 8.3: Disability and criminal justice.)