Mercedes Perez successful in constitutional challenge before the Court of Appeal

Mercedes was successful before the Court of Appeal for Ontario in a precedent setting constitutional challenge to Ontario’s Mental Health Act.  Mercedes represented a deaf man who had been detained at the maximum secure unit of the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care for almost two decades. In the case of PS, a five-judge panel of the Court of Appeal unanimously agreed with Mercedes’ arguments that the Mental Health Act is unconstitutional to the extent that it permits civil detention of psychiatric patients for more than six months without comprehensive protections for liberty and equality rights.  The Court of Appeal also agreed that PS’s equality rights had been breached by the failure to accommodate his deafness with ASL interpretation in the provision of treatment and other services. The Court’s decision resulted in the first significant legislative amendments to the Mental Health Act in over a decade.  Read the full decision here: