As an Aboriginal person charged with a criminal offence, there are unique cultural considerations that the court must consider when dealing with your case. This approach applies to all Aboriginal people in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Gladue and section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code both recognize that a restorative justice approach may be better suited for many Aboriginal offenders and state that judges should account for these considerations when making sentencing decisions. Gladue Courts were created following the Supreme Court’s decision in an effort to make sure these considerations are meaningfully addressed. Judges in a Gladue Court are meant to apply a method of analysis that recognizes the adverse historical factors that many Aboriginals face and to consider all reasonable sentences before incarceration.
Ron Ellis is a Criminal Defence Lawyer working in London, Ontario. Ron Ellis Law would like to thank Kristen Thomas for her contributions to this blog.