• Fitness to stand trial : how discourses of rationality, reasonableness and culpability inform the law and psychiatry to create standards of normal

      Toetenel, Jody; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2010-10-26)
      The objective of this thesis is to demonstrate the importance of the concepts of rationality, reasonableness, culpability and autonomy that inform and support our conception of both the person and the punishable subject. A critical discourse analysis tracing these concepts through both the law and psychological tools used to evaluate the fitness of a person reveals that these concepts and their implied values are inconsistently applied to the mentally disordered who come into conflict with the law. I argue that the result of this inconsistency compromises a person's autonomy which is a contradiction to this concept as a foundational principle of the law. Ultimately, this thesis does not provide a solution to be employed in policy making, but its analysis leaves open possibilities for further exploration into the ways legal and social justice can be reconciled.