Mental Health and Section 32

If it is appropriate, a court can choose to discharge a criminal matter on the condition that you enter into a treatment plan. This is an alternative to dealing with the matter under the usual criminal law provisions. There are a number of conditions you must meet to be successful and in their simplest form they are:

  • That you are cognitively impaired; or
  • That you are suffering from a mental illness; or
  • That you are suffering from a mental condition that can be treated in the community; and
  • That there is a connection between the illness, condition or impairment and the offence.

This is usually done through medical reports of some description, however it is not just as simple as meeting the criteria and having the matter diverted. You must also convince the court that it is more appropriate to deal with the matter under mental health provisions rather than the normal course. A court may choose to deny this application for reasons such as:

  • The offence is too serious
  • The offence is highly prevalent
  • Treatment has had no demonstrable impact on curbing the criminal offending of the defendant