Commencement of Amendments to the Fitness to Plead / Unsoundness of Mind Regime under the Criminal Procedure Code 2010
14 Nov 2022 Posted in Announcements
- On 15 November 2022, amendments to the fitness to plead/unsoundness of mind regime under the Criminal Procedure Code 2010 (“CPC”) that were previously passed by Parliament will come into force.
- Currently, the CPC provides for special procedures to deal with two categories of accused persons with special needs:
a) Those who are “unfit to plead”, i.e. incapable of making their defence at the time of trial; and
b) Those who are acquitted on the basis that they were of unsound mind at the time that they committed the offences.
- The Minister for Law may order these persons to be confined in a psychiatric institution or other suitable place of safe custody. A confined person must be visited at least once every 6 months by the visitors of a psychiatric institution, who will report to the Minister on the person’s state of mind.
- The key amendments include the following:
a) The courts and medical professionals will be given a greater role supervising and determining the measures to be taken in respect of such persons. For example, the visitors will be expressly required to report on not only the person’s state of mind, but also the risk of injury to others if the person is released, and the conditions (if any) that may be imposed to minimise any such risk.
b) There will be a maximum duration for confinement pursuant to an order by the Minister.
- A person who is released under the CPC provisions may still be subject to detention under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act if the person remains a danger to himself or herself, or to others, due to a mental disorder.
- More information on the fitness to plead/unsoundness of mind regime may be found in sections 246 to 256A of the CPC at https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/CPC2010.
MINISTRY OF LAW
14 NOVEMBER 2022
Last updated on 14 Nov 2022