Thursday, July 01, 2021

University of Saskatchewan Guide on Gladue Principles for Sentencing Indigenous Persons

The Indigenous Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan has published a new book on The Gladue Principles: A Guide to the Jurisprudence that comes with a free PDF version.

The Gladue Principles were established by the Supreme Court of Canada.  They create a sentencing framework to be applied when determining a fit sentence for an Indigenous person. This framework emerged from the Supreme Court of Canada’s interpretation of s 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code, which currently reads as follows: "all available sanctions, other than imprisonment, that are reasonable in the circumstances and consistent with the harm done to victims or to the community should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders."

From the description of the book:

"Over the past two decades Canadian courts have repeatedly acknowledged that Indigenous individuals and collectives face systemic discrimination throughout the criminal justice system. The system’s disproportionate adverse impacts on Indigenous peoples have also been thoroughly studied and documented for over half a century. Indigenous individuals are over-represented among those charged, convicted, and sentenced to prison, as well as those who are victims of crime. Among other disparities, Indigenous individuals are more likely to be denied parole, spend a disproportionate amount of time in segregation, and are less likely to receive community-based sentences. At the same time, the criminal justice system has often marginalized the legal responses of Indigenous collectives to wrongdoing among their members."

"These systemic issues require systemic responses. On April 23, 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada provided one such response in its decision in R v Gladue, articulating a broad open-ended framework to address this crisis of legitimacy and outcomes in the sentencing of Indigenous persons. The Gladue decision’s main principles have since been extended to various other facets of the criminal justice system. At the direction of the BC First Nations Justice Council, this book synthesizes the hundreds of cases that expand on these principles to provide readily accessible guidance to all those involved in their practical implementation."

The Centre has also produced user guides for judges, Crown and defence counsel as well as people who write the Gladue reports used by judges when coming up with a fit sentence.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:41 pm


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