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Mental Illness In Mental Health

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The courts of New South Wales have responded to the issue of individuals suffering from mental illness under the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions Act) 1990 (NSW) by setting out different courts control and maintain criminal proceedings in cases where the defendant is defined to have a mental illness and also facades mental illness to be a legal defence in criminal related cases, as well as with forensic and correctional patients. Forensic patients are defined as an individual who is confined in an institution or released from custody prone to decisions whereas, a correctional patient is an individual currently on demand or serving a term of imprisonment who is transferred to an institution. An example in relation to court processes being where the District and Supreme courts have the authority to decide if the accused is ‘not guilty due to mental illness’ or ‘not fit to plead.’ Though the concern being if the question as to whether their mental disorder even makes them unfit to stand trial or ‘not guilty by reason of mental illness’, has been raised, the courts may attribute them to the Mental health Review Tribunal. Whereas the Local Court in New South Wales does not deal with individuals in criminal cases who are ‘not fit to plead’ however the magistrate can deal with an individual who is mentally ill by releasing the defendant or referring them to a psychiatric unit with the recommendations from health care professionals.

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