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Innocence McGill Conference 2015: Criminal or Victim?

Innocence McGill is pleased to present our annual conference featuring a special screening of Emmy award winning director, John Kastner's film NCR: Not Criminally Responsible.  After the film, there will be a panel composed of John Kastner, Noella and Andy Bouvier, Me Pierre Poupart, and Dr Anne Crocker, who will discuss current and critical issues surrounding mental illness, Section 16 of the Canadian Criminal Code, and wrongful convictions. Following the panel and a Q&A with the audience, there will be a cocktail reception.


John KastnerEmmy award winning director of the documentary NCR: Not Criminally Responsible

Noella & Andy Bouvier: Parents of victim Julie Bouvier, featured in Kastner’s film

Me Pierre Poupart: Defence Lawyer with extensive experience in NCR cases

Dr Anne Crocker: Professor of psychiatry at McGill University
The event will be introduced by McGill Faculty of Law's Dean Daniel Jutras, and moderated by Me Robert Israel of Shadley Battista.


Gripped by psychosis, a troubled young man stabs a complete stranger six times. The young man, Sean Clifton, is deemed mentally ill, and therefore not criminally responsible for his actions. He is then confined to a forensic mental health institution, much to the relief of his victim, Julie Bouvier. Twelve years later, under a progressive treatment plan designed to reintegrate patients into society, Sean is living in the community under supervision, with surprising results. He’s seeking an absolute discharge. If he’s successful, he will no longer be required to take the anti-psychotic drugs that control his mental illness—and his potential for violence.


In light of the complexities of moral culpability and the misconceptions surrounding mental illness, we will examine Section 16 of the Criminal Code of Canada, also known as the “insanity defence.” Section 16 states that persons suffering from mental disorders cannot, under certain conditions, be held criminally responsible for their acts. Are these provisions adequate?  What are the impacts of Section 16 on the lives of individuals with mental illness and on the lives of their victims? Is the risk of wrongful conviction higher or lower in this context? Should these cases be treated analogous to other cases of factual innocence? Our panel members will shed light on these issues by drawing on their diverse areas of expertise.

Location & Time

The event will take place at the McGill Faculty of Law on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 from 5:00PM - 7:30PM, followed by a cocktail reception.

5:00 - 6:00 PM Film Screening

6:15 - 7:30 PM Panel and Q&A with the audience

7:30 - 8:30 PM Cocktail Reception


This event is open to the public but we ask that everyone (McGill community members included) please RSVP to innocence [dot] law [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca by Tuesday, February 17, 2015.


Barreau du Quebec CLE accreditaton for lawyers is pending.


Please click here for directions to the faculty