Part of Justice

Criminal Code Review Board

The board holds disposition hearings for accused found unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder.

Overview

The Criminal Code Review Board does not participate in the criminal court process.

The Criminal Code Review Board (CCRB) has been established under section 672.38 of Canada’s Criminal Code.

The CCRB holds disposition hearings to make or review dispositions for those the court has found:

  • not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder
  • unfit to stand trial

A disposition means the outcome of the hearing.

The board holds disposition hearings for an accused at least once a year to assess their risk to the public.

Disposition hearings

Disposition hearings locations

Disposition hearings may be:

  • in-person at Alberta Hospital Edmonton
  • in-person at a mental health facility in Calgary
  • by video conference

Disposition hearings agenda

Who attends

The CCRB panel at a disposition hearing is usually 5 members of the board:

  • the board chairperson
  • 1 legal board member
  • 1 psychiatrist board member
  • 2 public board members

Other people who may be at a disposition hearing are:

  • the victim
  • guardians
  • interpreters
  • the accused
  • defence counsel for the accused
  • persons designated by the board as having a substantial interest in protecting the interests of the accused
  • Crown counsel
  • zone section chief for the hospital
  • the treating psychiatrist
  • the treatment team

Hearing begins

Victims, guardians, interpreters and other people at the hearing are introduced to the board.

The panel chairperson welcomes the parties to the hearing and confirms the defence counsel acting for the accused.

Exhibits entered

Defence counsel, Crown counsel and the hospital agree or object to the exhibits being entered.

Publication ban

If required, the panel chairperson will enter a publication ban.

Treating doctor updates

The treating psychiatrist of the accused provides updates or addendums to the reports. There may be updates from the treatment team.

Questions

Parties ask questions in the following order:

  • defence counsel
  • Crown counsel
  • representative for the hospital
  • members of the board

Re-examination or questions arising

The parties may get a chance to ask more questions.

Statements

The panel chairperson may ask if the accused would like to make a statement.

  • If the accused makes a statement, the chairperson may allow the parties to ask questions.

The chairperson, at their discretion, may allow other parties to make a statement.

Victim impact statements

If the panel chair approves, the victim may read their victim impact statement to the board during the hearing.

Submissions

Defence counsel, Crown counsel and the hospital make their submissions to the board.

Hearing ends

The hearing ends and everyone except the board leaves the room.

Victim impact statement

The victim, or a person representing a victim, can submit a victim impact statement. The board can take steps to protect a victim’s identity.

A victim impact statement describes how the crime has affected the victim:

  • emotionally
  • physically
  • financially
  • in any other way

Victims may be allowed to:

  • read their victim impact statement at the disposition hearing
  • update their victim impact statement

The accused, their lawyer, the Crown prosecutor, section chief of the hospital and the members of the Criminal Code Review Board will be given a copy of the victim’s impact statement.

Victim impact statements are considered by the board when deciding a disposition.

Not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder

Victim impact statements may be:

  • heard at the disposition hearing for accused found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder
  • submitted before the disposition hearing
  • given directly to the board at the disposition hearing

Unfit to stand trial

At a disposition hearing for an accused found unfit to stand trial:

  • charges are still pending for the accused
  • victim impact statements are not accepted at the hearing because charges are still pending
  • a victim may attend the disposition hearing as an observer, but cannot participate

How to submit a victim impact statement

If the accused has been found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder, a victim impact statement may be filed by either:

  • the victim
  • a person representing a victim

Important

Do not submit a victim impact statement if the disposition hearing is for an accused found unfit to stand trial. Charges are still pending for the accused, so victim impact statements are not allowed.

Step 1. Fill out the form

Open the Criminal Code Review Board – Victim Impact Statement Not Criminally Responsible online form and follow the instructions.

Contact the CCRB if you need help filling out a victim impact statement.

Step 2. Submit your completed statement

Send your victim impact statement to the CCRB by email or mail.

Attend a disposition hearing

Disposition hearings are open to the public.

Indigenous accused

The board may take Gladue reports into consideration with dispositions. 

Membership

The Criminal Code Review Board is a body made up of people who have a broad range of experience in the community.

All board members are appointed by the lieutenant-governor. The chair of the board must be an active member of the Law Society of Alberta for at least 10 years.

Resources

Criminal Code Review Board : information for victims

Criminal Code Review Board step-by-step guide

Criminal Code Review Board hearing process

Criminal Code Review Board dispositions

Contact

Connect with the Criminal Code Review Board to update your registration information or to ask about attending a disposition hearing:

Email: [email protected]

Address:
Criminal Code Review Board
PO Box 1081
Edmonton Station Main
Edmonton, AB  T5J 2K1