News Releases

For immediate release October 14, 1999

Note date change – free workshop for registered media only

Mental Health and the Law – November 13, 1999

VANCOUVER – Does the justice system treat offenders with mental illness better or worse than other accuseds? Is the system set up appropriately to handle the mentally ill in custody? Does a shortage of mental health treatment options affect the crime rate? What about sentencing – are too many people going to jail or being set free rather than getting medical attention?

Reporters and editors are urged to register quickly for a November 13th media workshop presented by the BC legal profession. The workshop, an annual event sponsored jointly by the Law Society of British Columbia and the Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch), will focus on mental health issues – how mentally ill offenders are treated by the justice system, how mental illness has an impact on crime and the courts, and what options are available to mitigate the challenges faced by health care workers and the justice system when dealing with people with mental illness.

"Mental Health and the Law: Who’s Falling Through the Cracks?" will bring together expert panelists within the health care and justice systems. Confirmed speakers include Chief Judge Robert Metzger, Forensic Assessment Unit consulting psychiatrist Dr. Rakesh Lamba and members of the Vancouver Police Force’s "Odd Squad". Lawyers, other forensic psychiatrists and mental health advocates will be rounding out the group of panelists.

The workshop takes place on Saturday, November 13th, 1999 starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Law Courts Inn. The event is free to any registered reporter or editor from an accredited media organization. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. On-line registration can be done at, or by emailing

This event is endorsed by the Jack Webster Foundation.


Contacts: Elizabeth Cordeau, Public Affairs Manager, Law Society of B.C., at 604-443-5724, 1-800-903-5300 toll-free in B.C., or Caroline Nevin, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch, at 604-687-3404 or 1-888-687-3404 toll-free in B.C.

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Free Media Workshop hosted by the Law Society of British Columbia and the Canadian Bar Association (B.C. Branch), endorsed by the Jack Webster Foundation
Time: 9:30 a.m. 3:00 p.m.
Date: Saturday, November 13, 1999
Location: Law Courts Inn, 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver

Mental Health and the Law:  Who's Falling Through the Cracks?

Media organization: __________________________________________________
Name: __________________________________________________
Phone: __________________________________________________
Fax: __________________________________________________
Email: __________________________________________________

Please complete and return to:
Public Affairs Department, Law Society of British Columbia, Fax: 604-646-5919 or via e-mail at