Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Victims Rights Bill
"Bill C-32: An Act to enact the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and to amend certain Acts (short title: 'Victims Bill of Rights Act') was introduced in the House of Commons on 3 April 2014 by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Peter MacKay. The bill was introduced after a process of online consultations, as well as in-person consultations in 16 cities across the country. "
"Generally speaking, the bill:It is possible to follow the progress of the Bill through Parliament on the LEGISinfo website.
"This legislative summary presents general information about victims’ rights in Canada in Part 1 and describes the new Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and the changes proposed to other laws in Part 2."
- creates a federal bill of rights for victims of crime (the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, or CVBR);
- amends the Criminal Code (Code) to enhance the rights of victims to information and protection and provide victims with increased opportunities for participation in the criminal trial and sentencing processes;
- creates a general rule of competency and compellability with respect to the testimony of the accused’s spouse in criminal proceedings under the Canada Evidence Act; and
- amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) to increase victims’ access to information about the offender who harmed them."
Earlier Library Boy posts on the subject of victims services and victims rights include:
- Justice Canada 2013 Victims of Crime Research Digest (May 15, 2013): "Welcome to sixth issue of the Victims of Crime Research Digest which is being released during the eighth annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week (NVCAW) (April 21-27, 2013). The theme of the 2013 NVCAW is 'We All Have a Role.' This theme recognizes that criminal justice professionals and volunteers play a crucial role in reaching out to victims, that all levels of government play a role in reaching out to victims, and that all Canadians can play a role in reaching out to victims through their support and understanding."
- Recently Released Research Reports from Justice Canada (October 22, 2013): "The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications refers to a number of research reports released recently by Justice Canada (...) Vulnerable Adult Witnesses - The Perceptions and Experiences of Crown Prosecutors and Victim Services Providers in the Use of Testimonial Support Provisions: 'This is an exploratory study examining the perceptions and experiences of Crown prosecutors and victim services providers of the testimonial support provisions for vulnerable adult witnesses found in s.486 of the Criminal Code. The purpose of the research is to gain a clearer understanding of how the provisions on testimonial accommodations are being used in Canada to assist vulnerable adult witnesses in providing their testimony' ... Testimonial Support for Vulnerable Adults (Bill C-2) - Case Law Review (2009-2012): 'Bill C-2, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Protection of Children and Other Vulnerable Persons) and the Canada Evidence Act received Royal Assent on July 21, 2005. The bill included amendments to facilitate witness testimony, which came into force on January 2, 2006. These amendments were intended to provide greater clarity and consistency for the use of testimonial aids and other measures for victims and witnesses under the age of eighteen years, and also made testimonial aids and other measures available to vulnerable adult witnesses for the first time'."
- Statistics Canada Article on Victim Services in Canada, 2011/2012 (February 13, 2014): "The information in this report is based on the 760 victim service providers and six criminal injuries compensation programs which responded to the Victim Services Survey. In total, these providers served almost 460,000 victims in 2011/2012. These services are offered to all primary and secondary victims of crime whether or not they have reported an incident to police. The large majority of these service providers, about 90%, provided some form of protection or crisis service, as well as helping victims participate in the court system or offering information about the criminal justice system ..."
- Justice Canada 2014 Victims of Crime Research Digest (June 4, 20140): "Last week's issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications lists the most recent issue of Victims of Crime Research Digest. Published by Justice Canada, it includes short, accessible articles on victims of crime research ..."
- Victims Bill of Rights On-line Consultations Summary Report (November 4, 2014): "On February 4, 2013, the Minister of Justice announced the Government of Canada’s intention to enhance the rights of victims by bringing forward legislation to create a Victims Bill of Rights (VBR). In order to inform the development of this legislation, the Government launched a public on-line consultation on May 1st, 2013, to seek the views of various stakeholders within the criminal justice system, members of the civil society and the general public. The on-line consultation closed on September 27th, 2013 (...) A total of 319 submissions from a variety of stakeholders, including victims of crime, victim advocacy organizations, provincial and territorial officials or organizations, criminal justice associations, and criminal justice system stakeholders were received ..."