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The BC Review Board

The BC Review Board has legal jurisdiction over people who have been found not criminally responsible or unfit to stand trial for a specific crime due to a mental disorder.

What does the BC Review Board do?

The BC Review Board, an independent tribunal under the Criminal Code of Canada at the same level as the Supreme Court of B.C., is responsible for protecting the rights of people who are found not criminally responsible for a crime or unfit to stand trial due to a mental disorder. They are also responsible for protecting the public from patients and clients who have been found not criminally responsible or unfit to stand trial.

What happens to people found not criminally responsible or unfit to stand trial?

When the courts find someone not criminally responsible for a crime or unfit to stand trial due to a mental disorder, they are referred to the BC Review Board, which will provide legal oversight of their treatment and supervision.

People found not criminally responsible for a crime or unfit to stand trial are usually treated at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital or the Forensic Regional Clinics. After the treatment and support they receive, people who have been found not criminally responsible are far less likely to re-offend than people who have been found guilty of a crime.

Learn more about what it means to be found not criminally responsible, including statistics about people who are found not criminally responsible, through the National Trajectory Project.

Annual BC Review Board hearings

Everyone who is subject to the BC Review Board receives an annual hearing of their case. After receiving evidence, including oral testimony and written submissions, from BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services forensic psychiatric experts, the BC Review Board will make one of three decisions for the patient or client:

  • A "custody order," meaning the individual will remain in treatment at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital for the next 12 months.
  • A "conditional discharge," which means the patient or client is well enough to live outside the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital but must still live where directed and participate in monitoring and ongoing treatment.
  • A "full discharge," which means the patient or client is well and free to live in the community with no requirements for supervision or mental health treatment. At this point, the individual is no longer subject to the BC Review Board.

In the case of the first two decisions, patients and clients continue to receive annual hearings.

When the BC Review Board decides that a patient or client will remain in treatment at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital for the next 12 months, as part of their decision, the BC Review Board will also determine whether the patient or client may be eligible for community outings as part of their treatment. Learn more about community outings on the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital page.

Learn more about the BC Review Board

To learn more about the BC Review Board, including the hearing schedule, common questions, and decisions, visit their website.

SOURCE: The BC Review Board ( )
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