Sunday, June 03, 2012

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act

The Library of Parliament has made available its legislative summary of Bill C-36: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Elder Abuse):
"Bill C-36, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (elder abuse) (short title: Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act), was introduced in the House of Commons on 15 March 2012 by the Honourable Gordon O’Connor, for the Minister of Justice, the Honourable Rob Nicholson. The bill specifies that 'evidence that the offence had a significant impact on the victim, considering their age and other personal circumstances, including their health and financial situation' is an aggravating factor to be taken into account during sentencing for a crime (...)"
"The aggravating factors enumerated in section 718.2(a) of the Criminal Code were introduced in 1995 as part of a lengthy process of sentencing reform that also resulted in the codification of the purpose and fundamental principle of sentencing and the creation of 'conditional sentences' (sentences of imprisonment to be served in the community), among other developments. Generally speaking, when aggravating factors, or aggravating circumstances, are present in a particular case, the judge will impose a lengthier sentence to better reflect the gravity of the offence (...)"
"Bill C-36 consists of three clauses, including the short title (clause 1) and the provision indicating that the bill will come into force 30 days after Royal Assent (clause 3). The only substantive provision is clause 2, which would add a seventh enumerated aggravating factor to section 718.2(a) of the Code. In particular, section 718.2(a)(iii.1) would specify that 'evidence that the offence had a significant impact on the victim, considering their age and other personal circumstances, including their health and financial situation' is deemed to be an aggravating circumstance to be taken into consideration during sentencing."
"The term 'elder abuse' does not appear in the text of the bill, nor does the bill indicate that the aggravating circumstance will apply only if the victim has reached a specified age. As a result, it is possible that the aggravating factor could be applied in cases that would not generally be perceived as cases of 'elder abuse'."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:20 pm

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