Anita’s List of Professional Activities


Partner, Hiltz Szigeti LLP, Toronto       Mental Health Law Litigator



  • International Academy of Law and Mental Health, Abstract of Paper on the Community Treatment Order presented June, 1999

“Ontario’s Community Treatment Orders: How did we Get here and Where do we Go from Now? An Advocate’s Perspective”

  • 1st published and presented at the Canadian Institute Conference on Bill 68, October 2, 2000
  • Re-published and presented at the CBAO/LSUC conference on Bill 68, November 23, 2000
  • Re-published in more fulsome form in Butterworths Health Law in Canada (a quarterly publication, legal journal) in February 2001, Volume 21, Number 3

“Representing a Client who has a Mental Health Issue before the Consent and Capacity Board”

  • 1st published in conference materials by CBAO/LSUC Continuing Legal Education department, November 23, 2000
  • updated March 2008, presented at U of T Mental Health Law Course March 24, 2008
  • used by Osgoode Hall Law School and U of T Law school
  • used by the Masters in Social Work faculty (OISE, Centre for the Aged) as part of course materials
  • also used by Consent and Capacity Board to educate physicians
  • published annually as part of course materials for students enrolled in Osgoode Professional Learning Development Company’s Certificate Program on Mental Health Law

“Practice Tips for Counsel regarding the CTO and expanded Committal Criteria under Bill 68”

  • published in CBAO/LSUC CLE materials November 23, 2000;

“Expanded Committal Criteria under the MHA: Statutory Interpretation of the Amendments One Year Later” (co-author)

  • Presented at the Canadian Institute Conference: Mental Health Care, November 29 & 30, 2001

“Consent to Treatment: Starson v. Swayze in the SCC”

  • presented at CBAO Health Law Conference March 30, 2004

“The Year in Review: Important Cases of CCB, ORB and Inquests”

  • presented at the Canadian Institute Conference: Mental Health Care, April 10 and 11, 2007

“Taking the Temperature in the Hearing Room: The Year in Review”

  • presented at the Canadian Institute Conference: Mental Health Care, April 10 and 11, 2008

“Big Cases that Changed the Landscape”

  • Published by the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office (PPAO) for its 25th Anniversary May 25, 2008

“Sex Offender Registries and the NCR Accused” (co-author)

  • Published in Windsor Faculty of Law Review, May 2008

“An Update on Mental Disorder Law:  R v. Conway”

  • Presented at the Six Minute Criminal Lawyer course, LSUC, April 17, 2010

“Attacking Capacity Assessments” (co-author)

  • Presented at LSUC Special Lecture Series on Estates Law April 14 & 15 2010
  • Published in Estates Law Society Special Series Blue Book (2011)

“A Guide to Consent and Capacity Law in Ontario” (co-author)

  • textbook updated annually, LexisNexis (Butterworths) since 2005


Public Education

  • Toronto East General Hospital, instructor on Ontario’s mental health legislation, in the Aftercare Support Group (to families), every 8 weeks (September 1997 to present and ongoing)
  • Bar Admissions Course (Law Society of Upper Canada), instructor, Disability Law (September, 1998) and (October, 1999)
  • Co-Chaired the only conference training lawyers in anticipation of Bill 68 (aka “Brian’s Law”), entitled: “Changes to Mental Health Law: the Impact of Bill 68″ sponsored by the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association, Ontario on November 23, 2000 – viewing the program was mandatory to qualify for membership on Legal Aid Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Panel.
  • Led workshop training on working with seriously mentally ill clients: for Association of Student Legal Aid Clinics in Ontario, through CLASP (York), June 23, 2001

  • Grand Rounds (Nursing), University Health Network: Patient Restraint Minimization Act and its implications for Restraint in General Hospitals, March 20, 2002
  • Downtown Legal Services, University of Toronto, Serving Clients with Mental Illness, May 14, 2002
  • Mental Health Issues and the Law: Human Rights, Criminal, and Consent and Capacity Issues, The Law Society of Upper Canada and ARCH, National Access Awareness Week, Law Society of Upper Canada, Osgoode Hall, Toronto,  May 30, 2002
  • Caregivers and the Law, The Arthur Sommer Rotenberg Chair in Suicide Studies Caregiver Support Night, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, June 19, 2002
  • Consent And Capacity Training for “Clinics Responding to Vulnerable Clients” Toronto Social Assistance Action Committee on Practical Side of Consent and Capacity Law, September 30, 2002

  • Presented to Consent and Capacity Board Annual General Meeting on the “Roles of Counsel and Panel Members in CCB Hearings”, December 1, 2006
  • Gave keynote address to Canadian Institute Conference on Managing Risks and Liabilities in Mental Health Care, “The Year In Review”, updating delegates on developments in Inquests, ORB and CCB matters and appeals,  April 11, 2007
  • Gave keynote address to 10th Anniversary Celebration for Mental Health Legal Committee “The Last 10 Years of Advocacy and the Next 10”, received award for outstanding advocacy in mental health law as retiring Chair of MHLC, April 27, 2007
  • LAO Education Seminar on ORB Practice Tips for New Lawyers, DVD produced by LAO for training new lawyers to practice at ORB,

November 2, 2007

  • OBA Health Law Section, presenter, “Inquests” from perspective of public interest Interveners and Families, February 4, 2008
  • U of T Faculty of Law, Mental Health Law class, on the role of counsel to patients before the CCB, guest lecturer, March 24, 2008
  • U of T Social Work Masters class (OISE), “Nuts and bolts of mental health law”, guest lecturer, March 31, 2008
  • Co-Chair, Canadian Institute: Mental Health Care conference April 10 and 11, 2008, and gave keynote address on the year in review, “Taking the Temperature in the Hearing Room”
  • OBA Criminal Law Section on Inquests, role of counsel for families and public interest interveners, DVD or CD ROM produced of this session by the OBA for training new lawyers who want to do Inquests, April 15, 2008
  • Ontario Hospital’s Association Conference, Complicated CCB Cases, Presenter, May 26, 2008
  • “The Detained Client:  Client Instructed Advocacy”  Osgoode Certificate Program in Mental Health Law, October 31, 2008
  • “Unilateral Withholding or Withdrawal:  Can it ever be done?”  Grey Matters: Critical Care Conference, November 10, 2008
  • “Mental Disorder and the Courts”, presenter, Criminal Lawyers’ Fall Conference “The science of Crime”, November 29, 2008
  • Program Co-chair, “Advanced Roundtable on Mental Health Law:  The Intersection of Criminal Justice and Mental Health” LSUC, March 4, 2009
  • Conference Co-Chair, Canadian Institute on Mental Health Care, presenter on Restraints and Inquests, April 2 & 3, 2009
  • U of T Mental Health Law Course, Guest Speaker, October 29, 2009
  • Osgoode Certificate Course on Mental Health Law, Module 2, Involuntary Admission (MHA) Course lecturer, October 30, 2009
  • National Symposium on Mental Health Law, Osgoode Professional Development Company, MHA Involuntary Admissions, Presenter, November 25, 2009,
  • National Symposium on Mental Health Law, Osgoode Professional Development Company, Co-Leader of Workshop / Seminar: “Preparing for CCB hearing”
  • Inquest Coroners’ Mandatory Training Lecture —Role of Family and Public Interest interveners at an Inquest, January 14, 2010
  • Lecture to Law Clerks of the Ontario Court of Appeal (co-presenter) on representing individuals with mental disorder and the Amicus Program for NCR / MD accused, February 24, 2010
  • Osgoode Health Law Certificate Program, Capacity Lecture, March 5, 2010
  • U of T, Masters in Social Work Course, on the Mental Health Act, guest lecturer, March 15, 2010
  • Law Society Lecture Series on Estates / Capacity, co-presenter on Capacity Assessments, presented paper “Attacking Capacity Assessments” – co-author) April 15, 2010
  • Six Minute Criminal Lawyer, LSUC CLE, presented paper: “Update on Mental Health Law:  R v. Conway”, April 17, 2010
  • Co-chair, Family Law and Mental Health Issues, Law Society luncheon tele-seminar, May 11, 2010
  • Halton Criminal Lawyers’ Association, Oakville, panel member on NCR and ORB issues, June 12, 2010
  • Crown Summer School, Mental Disorder Course, London, Ontario, , panel member on ORB process and law, civil mental health law and CTOs, August 2009 and August 12, 2010
  • Crown Summer School, Inquest Course, participant in mock Inquest, lecture on representing families and public interest interveners at Inquests, August 12, 2010
  • Osgoode Professional Development Company, Mental Health Law Certificate Course, Module 2, Representing the Detained Client, presented Paper on Representing Clients with Mental Health Issues before the Consent and Capacity Board, October 28, 2010
  • Criminal Law Intensive Programme, Osgoode Law School, panel speaker on NCR  / ORB law, process and representing the clients, January 10, 2011
  • Osgoode Professional Development Company, Elder Law Course, presentation on capacity issues respecting older adults and co-chaired seminar on representing clients before the CCB, January 17 and 18, 2011

On Bill 68 and Community Treatment Orders : 1998 to 2001

1)             Guest Speaker, Addiction and Mental Health Alliance Coalition

June, 1998 –an Introduction to Community Treatment Orders

2)             Panel Member, Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day, Parkdale Legal Clinic,  September 26, 1998–on Community Treatment Orders–the law

3)             Press Conference Panel Speaker on Bill 78, November 25, 1998

4)             Toronto East General Hospital Forum on Community Treatment

Orders, Panel Speaker–the law of CTOs–December 8, 1998

5) Law Union Conference, Mental Health Law (the CTO), Feb 6/99

6)             Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (East York Chapter), March 9/99

7)             Delivered a paper on the CTO at the IAMHL conference in June/99 on a panel regarding involuntary psychiatric treatment in the community

8)             Panel Member of Distinguished Speaker Series of Mood Disorders Association, October 6, 1999

9)             Free University of Toronto Psychiatry and Law April 7, 2000

10)         Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses (Peterborough) 04/07/00

11)         St. Joseph’s Health Centre Family Support Group (TO) 04/26/00

12)         Alternatives: Leadership in Mental Health, May 2, 2000

13)         Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs (Seminar given on Bill 68), May 17, 2000

14)         St. Joseph’s Hospital (Hamilton) Community Psychiatric Service, Grand Rounds Debate on Bill 68 (CTO), June 8, 2000

15)         Family Outreach and Response Group of CAMH–QS, June 12/00

16)         Friends and Advocates c/s group (Etobicoke), July 5, 2000

17)         Panel speaker at Canadian Institute Conference on Bill 68, October 2, 2000 on the CTO – Delivered paper entitled: Ontario’s Community Treatment Orders: How did we get here and where do we go from here? An Advocate’s Perspective” (published in Butterworths: Health Law in Canada, October, 2000)

18)         Community Mental Health Providers’ organization in Prince Edward Counties (Belleville) October 6, 2000

19)         October 28, 2000, Annual General Meeting of the members of the Consent and Capacity Board, debate with Dr. Brian Butler

20)         October 30, 2000, Free U of T. Psychiatry and the Law, on consent

21)         November 1, 2000, Live Link Presentation to Metropolitan Toronto Police (and others, videotape presentation and live presentation) re: Bill 68, education for police on impact of the new legislation

22)         November 2, 2000, Annual General Meeting of the Area Directors and Executive Directors of Legal Aid Ontario, presented on Bill 68

23)         November 7, 2000, to Family Outreach and Support Program and TEGH Family Support Group, presented on Bill 68

24)         November 14, 2000, to Alternatives (Consumer and Family Advocate and outreach Group) Annual General Meeting on Bill 68

25)         November 15, 2000, St. Joseph’s Health Sciences Centre, Family Outreach and Support Group, teaching mental health law

26)         November 20, 2000, Free University, on Bill 68

27)         November 22, 2000, No Force Coalition, Consumer Group, on law

28)         November 23, 2000, co-Chair of Conference: “Changes to Mental Health Law: The Impact of Bill 68″, LSUC, (conference co-chair and presented a number of papers on practising as counsel to patients before the CCB)

29)         December 13, 2000, presentation to Occupation Therapists and Vocational Rehabilitation Therapists at Queen Street Site of the CAMH on Bill 68;

30)         December 21, 2000, Scarborough General Hospital Grand Rounds, presentation on Bill 68 to Community Mental Health Service Providers

31)         January 10, 2001, presentation to all staff of the office of the Ombudsman, Ontario, on Bill 68

32)         February 23, 2001, presentation to Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addictions Programs, General Meeting, on how to protect consumers and families against Bill 68

33)         March 8, 2001 to Community Resources Consultants of Toronto on how Bill 68 affects community mental health service agencies

34)         March 27, 2001, to Alternatives and other groups regarding how to protect consumers and families against the impact of Bill 68

35)         May 23, 2001, to Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addictions Service Providers at its AGM, all day workshop on CTOs and Bill 68

36)         June 6, 2001, to Mood Disorders Association, Distinguished Speakers Series, update on Bill 68 (co-presenter)

37)         June 23, 2001, to Association of Ontario’s Student Legal Clinics: CLASP, panel member running workshop on working with clients with mental health problems

38)         Panel Presenter, July 4, 2001, IALMH conference Montreal, Charter & Bill 68

39)         U. of T. Law/Medicine Class “Psychiatry and the Law”: Guest Speaker, “Representing Patients”, November 26, 2001

40)         Debate on Mental Health Laws, November 28, 2001, Colbourne Community Centre

41)         CTOs, Panel Discussant, Canadian Institute Conference: Mental Health Care, November 29, 2001

42)         Workshop Leader, Implementing CTOs, Canadian Institute Conference: Mental Health Care, November 30, 2001

As Mental Health Legal Committee Chair (1997 to 2006):

  • Prepared and/or oversaw the Written Submissions and made the Oral Submissions, Presentations, Deputations or Provided Consultation to the following groups and persons on mental health legislation and policy issues:

MHLC Was Consulted By and Made Written and Oral Submissions to:

  • Dan Newman, Parliamentary Assistant to Minister of Health Elizabeth Witmer in the Minister’s Broad Stake Holder Consult on Strengthening Ontario’s Mental Health System in March 1998
  • Ministry of Health on the DRAFT Personal Health Information and Privacy Act (PHIPA) in February 1998
  • Nancy Austin, the Director of the Legal Aid Project of the Attorney General and Bob Holden, Director of the Ontario Legal Aid Plan on the delivery of legal services to consumers of mental health services in spring 1998
  • Michael Bay, Chair and CEO of the Consent and Capacity Board in his Education Initiative at the request of the Minister of Health in educating stake holders in the mental health system on existing legislation in Ontario in the fall of 1998
  • Canadian Mental Health Association–Ontario Division in the work of its taskforce on Community Mental Health Legislation in fall of 1998
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Services, Task Force on the Community Treatment Order
  • Legal Aid Ontario (Sidney Linden, Chair) in establishing and participating as member of the Mental Health Policy Advisory Committee to the new Legal Aid Services Board commencing spring, 1999 and ongoing, advising on directions in legal aid for mental health
  • Met with Chief Coroner Dr. Young and Drs. Lucas and Porter, together with PARC to discuss the problems of homelessness as a cause of death and also to discuss issues specific to deaths in psychiatric facilities
  • Office of the Premier, Peter Allan, Public Appointments Secretary, on Institutional Bias in CCB appointments

  • Ministry of Health on Proposed Changes to Ontario’s Mental Health Legislation, Round Table Discussions (Brad Clarke, MPP)

March 30, 2000

  • Legal Aid Ontario–Tariff Review Committee, June 2000, Bob Holden and The Honourable Fred Kaufman
  • Legal Aid Ontario–Mental Health Law Policy Advisory Committee (1999–ongoing)

MHLC  Made Written and/or Oral Submissions on Proposed Legislation:

  • on Bill 111 (An Act to Amend the Mental Health Act which sought to widen criteria for involuntary admissions to psychiatric facilities)
  • on the DRAFT  PHIPA (as above)
  • on Community Treatment Orders (to Dan Newman’s Consultation)
  • on Bill 53, An Act to Amend the Law Society Act which sought to make treatment orders an aspect of discipline of members by the LSUC)–submissions to the Standing Committee on the Administration of Justice were heard December 7, 1998—some changes adopted in final version
  • on Bill 78, An Act to Amend the Mental Health Act which sought to introduce Community Treatment Orders in Ontario–Press Conference held November 25, 1998—-our statement adopted by the NDP in the House Debate on this legislation
  • on ‘security of tenure’ of Consent and Capacity Board members to the Minister of Health and to the Public Appointments office of the Premier
  • on ‘rights advice’ to inpatients in psychiatric facilities to the Minister of Health and the Attorney General’s Office
  • on Bill 68, Mental Health Legislative Reform 2000 to the Standing Committee on General Government, on May 15, 2000
  • on Bill 135, Public Hospitals Amendment Act (Restraints) to the Standing Committee on Legislative Assembly, on February 12, 2001
  • on Bill 159, Personal Health Information Privacy Act (PHIPA 2000) to the Standing Committee on General Government, on February 28, 2001

Highlights of Career as Counsel or Amicus before the Courts

  • Anita Szigeti has appeared as counsel or amicus to these individuals or organizations at all levels of tribunals and in all levels of Court from 1997 to 2011


  • The Queen Street Patients Council and the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape and individual female forensic psychiatric patients, acting as public interest intervener seeking standing in the Inquest Touching the Death of Cinderella Allalouf, before the Coroner’s Court, and on judicial review in the Divisional Court (Ontario), April, 1999.
  • CMHA–Ontario Division acting as public interest intervener in the inquest touching the death of Zachary Antinomy (Hamilton, October, 1999) and in the Inquest Touching the death of Hugo Manzano (Toronto, April, 2000).
  • To the surviving patient population on the ward where Fraser Jeffrey died at Oak Ridge, Division, Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene, in the Inquest Touching his Death, 2000 (the Inquest examined issues of security, monitoring and management of inpatients who are psychotic and suicidal )
  • To the Office of the Child Advocate and Director Judy Finlay in the Inquest Touching the Death of Joshua Durnford –represented the Office of the Child and Family Services Advocate (“The Child Advocate”) as public interest intervener with standing at the Inquest touching the death of Joshua Durnford on the issue of management of psychiatric illness and medication in jails (April, 2001) and the issue of lack of resources or services for transitional aged young persons with dual diagnoses, including developmental delay or a history of aggression or young offender status.
  • To the Mental Health Legal Advocacy Coalition in the Inquest Touching the Death of Dennis Blais (February/March 2005), examining issues of management and supervision of forensic (NCR) patients in psychiatric facilities
  • To the Empowerment Council in the Inquest Touching the Death of Otto Vass (October/November 2006) looking at issues of policing and mental health, training, excited delirium, use of tasers and police use of force
  • To the Empowerment Council in the Inquest Touching the Death of Jeffrey James (September 15 to October 10 2008) looking at issues around the use of physical and chemical restraints on psychiatric patients; this man died after nearly 6 days in 4 point physical / mechanical restraints without any opportunity for ambulation: Cause of Death was acute pulmonary thromboembolism in a man with medical restraint
  • To the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the Empowerment Council in the GA Inquest to commence February 2011



  • Amicus Curiae for the successful Respondent Professor Starson in Fleming v. Starson, 2002/03
  • Co-Counsel to the Mental Health Legal Committee and the Mental Health Legal Advocacy Coalition as Interveners in both the Tulikorpi and Pinet Appeals, 2003/04
  • Co-counsel to the Mental Health Legal Advocacy Coalition on R. v. Mazzei , 2005/06
  • Co-counsel to the Mental Health Legal Advocacy Coalition and the Mental Health Legal Committee on R v. Conway , 2009/10


  • Participated in Setting up the Amicus Curiae Program for Mentally Disordered Accused, 2000/2001
  • Between February of 2001 and February of 2011, appeared on approximately 45 occasions as amicus curiae to NCR / MD accused on ORB appeals

  • Counsel to the Appellant in I.T. v. L.L., a case involving the role of substitute decision makers under the HCCA and the standard of review of CCB decisions by appellate courts; reported (1999) 46 O.R. (3d) 284 (C.A.)
  • Amicus Curiae to the successful Respondent Professor Starson in Starson v. Swayze on the issue of treatment capacity regarding mental disorder (August, 2000 in the Court of Appeal); reported at [1999] O.J. No.4483, Court File No.: 03-006/99
  • Counsel to the Respondent Joey Paluska Jr. in relation to a constitutional right to counsel in appealing treatment incapacity decisions (reported at (2002) 59 O.R. (3d) Part 6 at 469)


  • Counsel to Robert John Harris, the Applicant in the first Judicial Review application examining newly amended sections of the Criminal Code as they relate to victim notification and participation in ORB hearings, 2006/07
  • Frequently appointed Amicus Curiae or counsel in Treatment Capacity matters on appeal from CCB to SCJ

  • Counsel to the Mental Health Legal Committee (MHLC) on Bon Hillier, 2009/20, in relation to funding issues for amicus curiae on treatment capacity appeals from the CCB to the SCJ


Appeared as counsel to two of the first three applicants seeking an exemption as NCR accused from the application of the national Sex Offender Registry Information Act (SOIRA) requiring their compliance with registration and reporting provisions therein (re SW and re OO, 2007)



Counsel to the first person in Ontario who became subject to a Community Treatment Order, December 2000.


Counsel to the first person to challenge newly amended Victim Notification and Participation Provisions before the ORB (2006) pursuant to amendments made effective January 1, 2006 (Robert John Harris)

About anitaszigeti

• Called to the Bar (1992) • U of T Law grad (1990) • Sole practitioner (8 years) • Partner in small law firm (Hiltz Szigeti) since 2002 • Mom to two astonishing kids, Scarlett (8) and Sebastian (5) • (Founding) Chair of Mental Health Legal Committee for nine years (1997 to 2006) • Counsel to clients with serious mental health issues before administrative tribunals and on appeals • Former Chair, current member of LAO’s mental health law advisory committee • Educator, lecturer, widely published author (including text book on consent and capacity law) • Fifteen years’ experience as counsel to almost exclusively legally aided clients • Frequently appointed amicus curiae • Fearless advocate • Not entirely humourless
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