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David Daubney of Canada presented the 2011 International Prize for Restorative Justice
by Dan Van Ness David Daubney has been awarded the 2011 International Prize for Restorative Justice in recognition of the public policy leadership he has provided in support of restorative justice. The presentation was made during the Prison Fellowship World Convocation underway in Toronto, Canada from 28 June – 2 July, 2011. Daubney’s interest in restorative justice began twenty five years ago when he was a Member of Parliament, chairing the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice. The Committee was engaged in a year-long study of public and professional attitudes about crime and criminal justice. As it conducted hearings across Canada, its members began to hear about a concept that was new to all of them: restorative justice. They heard from grassroots organizations operating victim offender reconciliation programs in Canada and from crime victims who spoke about the personal healing they had received from their involvement in these programs. The Committee was so impressed that it recommended in its 1987 report “Taking Responsibility” – known to many as the Daubney Report – that restorative values and principles be incorporated into the Canadian Criminal Code.
Church arsonist doubts God will forgive him
from Alexandra Zabjek's article in the Edmonton Journal: A man who torched two Wetaskiwin churches in what a judge described as a "totally senseless wanton act of destruction" was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison. But he was offered hope by one of the ministers whose church was destroyed. "We have not been abandoned and we don't want you, Peter Terence Jones, to feel abandoned," Wetaskiwin First United Church minister Ruth Lumax told the 24-year-old arsonist in her victim impact statement, which was read in court.
Restorative justice is the law
by Dan Van Ness Heartspeak Productions is a remarkable Canadian group that describes itself as "on a continual quest to learn about & share the principles and best practices of restorative justice." It does this by creating excellent videos exploring dimensions of restoration. Fraser Community Justice Initiatives Association is a community NGO also in Canada that for 25 years has developed programs and training that help people in conflict find good resolutions.
Newfoundland Supreme Court - Trial Division.. A Healing Circle in the Innu Community of Sheshashit
This is the report, attached to a sentencing decision, of a healing circle in a Native community in Canada in response to an assault case. The offender was non-Native, and the victim was Native (Innu). The report details the participants (including the offender and the victim), the principles, the process, and the outcomes of the healing circle for the participants.
Supreme Court of Canada.. Application of s.718.2(e) of the Criminal Code: R. v. Gladue
This is an excerpt from the Supreme Court of Canada's decision concerning the meaning and application of a section of the Criminal Code of Canada with respect to alternative sentencing, particularly for Aboriginal offenders, but not limited to such. The decision discusses the goals of sentencing and explicitly examines restorative elements in sentencing - especially accountability and acknowledgment of the harm done, and restitution and reparation for that harm - as codified in this section of the Criminal Code.
Rainville-Laforte, F.. Bill C-37 to Amend the Young Offenders Act: Implications for the Correctional Service of Canada
Bill C-37 encourages alternatives to incarceration for young offenders who commit less serious offenses and focuses on reserving custody in a closed environment for those who commit serious offenses or require closer supervision. The bill proposes an increase in the maximum youth court sentence for first-degree murder from 5 to 10 years, changes in parole eligibility, and an increase in the time period that must elapse before young offender criminal records are destroyed. The bill also creates the presumption that certain young offender cases will be transferred to adult court. Implications of proposed changes to the Young Offenders Act for the Correctional Service of Canada are discussed, and possibilities for action in response to the proposed amendments are suggested. 4 references
Whonnock, Karen and Savarese, Josephine. Aboriginal courts for New Brunswick.
Over the last several decades, the Canadian criminal justice system has been encouraged to implement policies and programs that better correspond with the ideals and values of Aboriginal justice. Numerous commissions and task forces have pointed to the unequal treatment of indigenous peoples by police, courts, and corrections. Innovative approaches to remedying the limitations of the justice system's response are varied. They include the creation of Aboriginal court worker positions, the implementation of restorative justice measures, Aboriginal policing programs, and the development of correctional programming that seeks to be culturally appropriate. While often acclaimed, these initiatives have not stemmed the over-representation of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian prisons and they have failed to promote the rehabilitation and restoration required. As a result, governments have intensified their efforts to develop programs within all facets of the justice system. The establishment of specialized courts dedicated to serving Aboriginal clients is a recent initiative. These courts work to ensure that the charges against Aboriginal accused are heard in a forum where cultural sensitivity and respect are incorporated into the criminal justice process. Four Canadian provinces--Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Ontario--have established Aboriginal courts. Operating since 2000, the courts have nearly a decade of experience to share with other regions in Canada. To date, there has been limited consideration of the Aboriginal court model in the Atlantic region. I will examine the arguments for an Aboriginal court for the Province of New Brunswick (excerpt)
Clark, Scott. The Nunavut Court of Justice: an example of challenges and alternatives for communities and for the administration of justice.
The Nunavut Court of Justice, a superior court and the only unified criminal court in Canada, was established in 1999, coincident with the creation of Nunavut. One of the court's three main objectives has been to provide an efficient and accessible court structure capable of responding to the unique needs of Nunavut. The achievement of that goal is an ongoing process in light of challenges inherent in providing justice in Nunavut. The article considers delays and lengthy case processing times as one example reflecting the difficulties facing the court. The author argues that improvements have been made since 1999 but that ongoing problems with the implementation of organizational improvements in the areas of legal aid services, the Inuit court worker program, and the justice of the peace program mean that the court's original objectives are not being completely met. Reasons for the gaps are examined, including perennial funding shortages for Nunavut's justice programs. The Nunavut Court is also seen as representative of broader challenges for the mainstream justice system in engaging with Inuit communities and culture. Fundamental problems resulting from the historical and ongoing marginalization of Inuit in Nunavut contribute to problems with the administration of justice. The author argues for increased movement toward true community-based justice alternatives, hot to the exclusion of the mainstream system but in an effective intersection with it. (author's abstract)
Lamer, Antonio and Major, John C and McLachlin, Beverley and Binnie, William Ian Corneil and Bastarache, Michel and Iacobucci, Frank and Gonthier, Charles Doherty and L'Heureux-Dubé, Claire. R. v. Proulx, [2000] 1 S.C.R. 61, 2000 SCC 5
Criminal law -- Sentencing -- Conditional sentences -- Accused pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm and receiving sentence of 18 months of incarceration -- Whether Court of Appeal erred in substituting conditional custodial sentence for jail term -- Proper interpretation and application of conditional sentencing regime -- Distinction between conditional sentence of imprisonment and suspended sentence with probation -- Meaning of "safety of the community" -- Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46 , ss. 742.1, 742.3. (excerpt)
Lamer, Antonio and Binnie, William Ian Corneil and Bastarache, Michel and Iacobucci, Frank and Cory, Peter deCarteret and Gonthier, Charles Doherty and L'Heureux-Dubé, Claire. R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688, 1999 CanLII 679 (S.C.C.)
This document consists of the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in the case R. v. Gladue [1999], a case on appeal from the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. The ruling was highly significant in seeking to interpret and apply principles governing application Section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code of Canada with respect to the sentencing of aboriginal offenders. The original case stemmed from a criminal assault by an aboriginal woman against an aboriginal man in British Columbia. The man died from the assault. Following conviction and sentencing, appeal was made to the provincial court, which dismissed the accused woman’s appeal of her sentence. Appeal was then made from the provincial court to the Supreme Court of Canada, which dismissed the appeal. This document contains a summary of the case; the appeal process and ruling; discussion of the aboriginal culture and demographic statistics, especially in relation to the criminal justice and corrections systems in Canada; interpretation of Section 718.2(e); and principles for taking all of this into account in sentencing aboriginal offenders.
Stuart, Barry.. R. v. Jacob, 2002 YKTC 15
Marcellus Jacob, 21 years old, raised as a ward of the state until age 18, will spend up to eight years in jail for a horrible crime. His sentence sets a precedent for the next case. There will be a next case. There have been many other similar cases. There are right now, within our communities, within our institutions, children, young boys, young men, with stories similar to Marcel Jacob. Unless we change what we do - we as families, communities, professionals - there will be many more 'next cases'. How many Marcel Jacobs do we need before we appreciate that if we always do what we have always done, we will always face what we always face - the next case to sentence, the next victim to heal. (excerpt)
Goldberg, Susan. Judging for the 21st Century: A Problem-solving Approach
This handbook provides Canadian judges with an introduction to TJ principles and practices, and with some practical suggestions and guidelines on how to incorporate those principles and practices into their courtrooms. Its larger aim is to help judges run their courtrooms more effectively, creatively, and successfully. Section 2 provides a brief background on dedicated drug-treatment, domestic violence, mental health, and Aboriginal courts in Canada, and other TJ initiatives. Section 3 provides judges in courts of general jurisdiction with a set of guidelines for understanding therapeutic judging and suggestions for incorporating problem-solving principles into their courtrooms. This section is organized according to four broad areas: enhancing interpersonal skills, crafting behavioural contracts and relapse-prevention plans, developing a non-adversarial team approach, and sentencing therapeutically. Section 4 explores some of the challenges and opportunities that judges and courts in smaller, rural, and remote regions face when thinking about incorporating TJ initiatives, and provides suggestions for adapting TJ principles to these regions. Section 5 provides judges and interested parties with resources and references for information on TJ and support on implementing therapeutic initiatives in the courtroom. (excerpt)
Panko, Charmaine. R. v. T.D.P.: A Young Offender, His Sentencing Circle, and the YCJA.
In this paper, Charmaine Panko discusses a Canadian case – R. v. T.D.P. – where the accused was a young offender. In the sentencing process, the judge directed that a sentencing circle be used. The judge’s remarks in doing so pointed to the value in this kind of restorative justice process, namely that certain factors were brought to light about the young offender’s life and community situation that may not have been included in the disposition of the case otherwise. While this case evidences some of the benefits of sentencing circles with respect to young offenders, Panko comments that it also shows some of the challenges in this kind of disposition. Panko details all of this by looking at the principles and purposes of sentencing under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), the use of sentencing circles, the individual participants in a sentencing circle, and sentencing circles and the YCJA.
First Nations court seen as path out of vicious cycle
from the article by Mike Youds for the Kamloops Daily News: Local bands have asked for a First Nations court to be established in Kamloops, delegates heard Thursday at an Aboriginal justice forum at TRU. The forum focused on the Aboriginal sentencing principles of Gladue, recently reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada, while hosting Justice Marion Buller Bennett of First Nations court in New Westminster.
Dalhousie offers restorative justice option for students
from the article on Dalhousie University students who end up in trouble with the law now have a way to try to right the wrong without having to go to court. The University, police and the province’s Justice Department have set up a restorative justice program just for students of the school. It’s the first program of its kind for university students in Canada.
Lipton, S E. Reasons for disposition of the Honourable Judge S.E. Lipton. R. v. C.L.T., 2002 ABPC 116.
This document presents the reasons given by Judge S.E. Lipton, Provincial Court of Alberta, for his disposition of a particular case. On May 31, 2002, final arguments were given by counsel with respect to charges for which C.L.T. (the “young person"?) had earlier entered guilty pleas. Pursuant to the guilty pleas, counsel for the Crown asked the court to impose on the young person a sentence of two years secure custody followed by probation, a weapons prohibition, and a DNA order. Counsel for the young person, agreeing with the weapons prohibition and making no submission with respect to the DNA order, asked the court to impose a sentence of probation. The document covers the agreed facts of the case, background information on the young person and the victim, analysis of the case by the judge, the judge’s reasoning on the age of the offender and the sentencing provisions of the Young Offenders Act, and the judge’s disposition of the case.

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