Canadian Criminal Procedure and Practice/Mental Illness/Fitness to Stand Trial

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General Principles[edit]

Under section 2, unfitness to stand trial is defined:

“unfit to stand trial” means unable on account of mental disorder to conduct a defence at any stage of the proceedings before a verdict is rendered or to instruct counsel to do so, and, in particular, unable on account of mental disorder to

(a) understand the nature or object of the proceedings,
(b) understand the possible consequences of the proceedings, or
(c) communicate with counsel;


The test for fitness is not onerous. It only requires a "limited cognitive capacity" to communicate with counsel and understand the process.[1]

  1. R. v. Taylor, (1992), 77 C.C.C. (3d) 551, [1992] O.J. No. 2394 (Ont. C.A.)

Case Digests[edit]

See Also[edit]