Instructor(s): Trudo Lemmens, Gilbert Sharpe

For graduate students, the course number is LAW6030HS.

Note: The Quercus program will be used for this course. Students must self-enrol in Quercus as soon as confirmed in the course in order to obtain course information.

This seminar deals with the intersection between mental health and the law. The seminar will explore the legal rules and legal regimes that apply in both the civil and criminal law context when people are diagnosed with a mental disorder and introduce students to some of the controversies in mental health law. The seminar will first discuss briefly the historical developments in mental health law and the key concepts such as mental disability, mental illness, insanity, and competency. The remainder of the seminar will deal with substantial issues in the civil and criminal law context. We will explore the rights of mental health patients, the procedures involved in involuntary commitment and the use of restraints, the rights and obligations of substitute decision makers, the difficult legal issues of treatment and community treatment orders. The seminar will further explore how the criminal justice system deals with persons with mental health issues, particularly looking at alternative approaches within the criminal justice system that may promote the health and wellbeing of people with mental health issues. The seminar will consist of a combination of lectures, class discussions, and guest lectures by experts in the field. It may also include participation in hearings of the Toronto Mental Health Court, The Ontario Consent and Capacity Board and the Review Board under the Criminal Code.

will be based on class participation 20% (10% contribution to class discussion, 5% each for two short commentaries on different sessions of the course) and a research or advocacy oriented paper of 5,000 to 6,500 words (80%).
Academic year
2018 - 2019

At a Glance

Second Term
Perspective course


16 JD
4 others


Th: 2:10 - 4:00