Alex Procope co-teaching at the University of Windsor Law Faculty

Alex Procope and Tess Sheldon will be virtually co-teaching Mental Health and the Law beginning in the fall 2020 term at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. The seminar course is being offered to 2L and 3L students. It will focus on the civil and criminal mental health legal systems and related history, controversies and challenges. We’re wishing the

The course description is below:

Mental Health and the Law explores the legal construction of mental health in Ontario’s civil and criminal laws. The first portion of the course focuses on civil laws including  legal capacity generally, consent to make treatment decisions and substitute decision-making, involuntary detention, the use of restraints and forced medication, community treatment orders, the youth mental health system, dispute resolution before the Consent and Capacity Board, powers of attorney and guardianship and the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The second portion of the course examines “mental disorder” under the criminal law, including fitness and risk assessments, findings of “not criminally responsible”, diversion to and from specialized Mental Health Courts, the operation of forensic hospitals, and proceedings before the Ontario Review Board.

Additional themes emphasized throughout the course include the ethical principles applicable to the role of the lawyer for the mentally ill or allegedly mentally ill, anti-Black sanism, traumatizing impacts of colonization, international law, supported decision-making, social determinants of mental health and human rights. The curriculum is designed so students learn the basis for and how to participate in the justice system with a client-centred or rights based approach to advocacy. Assignments include writing a mock judgment of the Consent and Capacity Board and developing a mental-health diversion plan for a criminally accused client. 


PBP lawyers practice civil and administrative mental health law with a particular focus on psychiatric detention and capacity matters. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions about our services in these areas of our practice.