X. Explanation of Terms

Mental disorder:
A disease of the mind. No person is criminally responsible for an act that is committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that renders the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act.
Not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder (NCRMD):
A verdict that acknowledges that, while the accused committed the offence, they were incapable of understanding the wrongness of their actions.
Unfit to stand trial (UST):
When an accused is unable to proceed with the trial due to being unable to understand the nature of the proceedings, which may include any of: not understanding what they are charged with and/or what they can plead (and what the outcome of any plea is); not understanding the courtroom, who the people in the courtroom are or why they are there; and not being able to communicate their wishes or communicate at all with their lawyer.
Review Boards:
Independent, provincially appointed tribunals who make or review the dispositions of patients found UST or NCRMD. They consist of at least five people. The chairperson must be a judge, retired judge or person qualified to be appointed as a judge and there must be at least one licensed psychiatrist.
Disposition order:
Essentially, what happens to the patient when found NCRMD or UST. There are three options: detained in a psychiatric facility; allowed to live in the community with conditions (a conditional discharge); and release directly into the community with no conditions (an absolute discharge).
Victim impact statements:
A written submission to the Review Board that the victim makes; to be considered by the Review Board when making disposition orders. In their own words, the victim may describe the harm and/or loss they have suffered as a result of their victimization. They can be written by anyone who has been affected by the crime.
Mental illness:
Refers to a wide range of mental health conditions, including disorders that affect mood, thinking and behaviour. For the purposes of this document, mental illness refers to diseases of the mind that lead to a finding of NCRMD or UST.