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In R. v. Parks' the Supreme Court of Canada had the opportunity to clarify the test for distinguishing between insane and non-insane automatism and to locate sleep-walking, or somnambulism, within this dichotomy. Its judgments accomplished neither purpose satisfactorily and thus the case is more striking for its unusual facts than for its advancement of the law. The question before the Supreme Court of Canada was simple: was Parks entitled to an absolute acquittal on the basis that his acts were involuntary, or was the involuntariness caused by a disease of the mind, thus leaving him only with the defence of insanity?

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Canadian Bar Review



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