Mental Health Law Program

Since 1977, our Mental Health Law Program (MHLP) has been providing representation to those who have been involuntarily detained pursuant to the B.C. Mental Health Act or to those subject to the Mental Disorder Provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada.

MHLP presently consists of two lawyers, five paralegals and four administrative assistants who provide services in three key areas:

  • Representation at BC Review Board Hearings for persons in the Lower Mainland found by the courts to be not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder or to be unfit to stand trial pursuant to Part XX.1 Mental Disorder Provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada. MHLP represents clients at Review Board hearings that are held at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, for clients in custody, or at the Review Board offices in Vancouver, for those clients who have been conditionally discharged. Review Board hearings that are held outside of the Lower Mainland are funded directly through the Legal Services Society.
  • Representation at Mental Health Review Board hearings will be provided for persons throughout the province who have been involuntarily detained in hospital or on extended leave in or through a designated facility under the BC Mental Health Act.
  • Provision of independent legal information on detention issues to persons detained under the BC Mental Health Act at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.

If you are a lawyer working with us to represent clients at Review Panel hearings, or if you are interested in doing so, we have a Resource page for lawyers working with our Mental Health Law Program, with information, forms, and guides.