section 745.6(3)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section determines who the appropriate Chief Justice is for the purpose of other sections related to the Criminal Code of Canada in each province and territory.

SECTION WORDING

745.6(3) For the purposes of this section and sections 745.61 to 745.64, the "appropriate Chief Justice" is (a) in relation to the Province of Ontario, the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court; (b) in relation to the Province of Quebec, the Chief Justice of the Superior Court; (c) in relation to the Provinces of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Trial Division; (d) in relation to the Provinces of New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the Chief Justice of the Court of Queens Bench; (e) in relation to the Provinces of Nova Scotia and British Columbia, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; and (f) in relation to Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal.

EXPLANATION

Section 745.6(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the powers and responsibilities of the appropriate Chief Justice in relation to the procedures surrounding applications for faint hope hearings. A faint hope hearing is a process that allows those sentenced to life imprisonment without parole eligibility for 15 years (prior to changes in 2011) the opportunity to apply for parole eligibility after serving at least 15 years of their sentence. This section defines who the appropriate Chief Justices are in each province and territory of Canada for the purpose of conducting faint hope hearings. The Chief Justice is responsible for determining the eligibility of an applicant for a faint hope hearing, which includes evaluating the application and deciding whether it meets the criteria set out in the Criminal Code. The appropriate Chief Justices are expected to have a thorough understanding of the Criminal Code and the legal principles involved in faint hope hearings. They are also tasked with ensuring that the process is carried out fairly and equitably, taking into account the seriousness of the offense and the potential risk to the public. Overall, Section 745.6(3) is a crucial aspect of the criminal justice system in Canada, as it provides a clear framework for the conduct of faint hope hearings and ensures that they are carried out in a fair and consistent manner across the country.

COMMENTARY

Section 745.6(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the appointment of the appropriate Chief Justice for the purposes of this section and sections 745.61 to 745.64. This section is significant as it outlines the Chief Justices for the various provinces and territories in Canada. The section provides clarity on who the appropriate Chief Justice is in each province and territory. This is especially important when it comes to cases that may be subject to review under sections 745.61 to 745.64. These sections deal with the review of a life sentence after a certain period of time has elapsed. The appropriate Chief Justice is responsible for hearing these reviews and making a determination as to whether the life sentence is still necessary. The inclusion of this section in the Criminal Code helps to streamline the process for these reviews. By clearly identifying the appropriate Chief Justice for each province and territory, it ensures that there is consistency in the application of the law across the country. In addition, the section helps to reinforce the importance of the role of the Chief Justice in our justice system. The Chief Justices play a critical role in ensuring the smooth functioning of the courts and upholding the rule of law. By identifying the Chief Justices in each jurisdiction for the purposes of these sections, it highlights the significance of their role in our legal system. However, it is important to note that the Criminal Code does not provide guidance on how the Chief Justices are appointed to their positions. This is left up to the individual provinces and territories to determine. As a result, there may be differences in the appointment process across the country. Overall, section 745.6(3) of the Criminal Code is an important provision that helps to provide clarity on the appointment of the appropriate Chief Justice for the purposes of reviewing life sentences. By identifying the Chief Justices in each province and territory, it ensures consistency in the application of the law and reinforces the importance of the role of the Chief Justices in our justice system.

STRATEGY

Section 745.6(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada mandates that for certain criminal offenses, the appropriate Chief Justice must order a hearing to determine if an offender is eligible for parole after serving 15 years of their life sentence. Strategic considerations when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code include the need to ensure that the offender does not pose a risk to society, the impact on victims and their families, and the need to protect the integrity of the justice system. One strategy that could be employed is to ensure that the hearing is conducted fairly and transparently. This includes ensuring that all relevant evidence is considered, that both the offender and the Crown are able to present their case, and that the victim and their family are given an opportunity to have their say. This may require the involvement of skilled legal professionals and a well-designed process that takes into account the unique circumstances of the case. Another strategy is to consider the impact on victims and their families when making decisions about eligibility for parole. Victims and their families often suffer significant trauma and may feel re-victimized by the prospect of an offender being released back into society. It is important to ensure that victims and their families are provided with appropriate support and that their views are taken into consideration when making decisions about parole eligibility. A third strategy is to ensure that the decision-making process is based on the best available evidence. This may include considering psychological assessments, risk assessments, and other relevant information that can help to inform decisions about the risk that an offender poses to society. This requires ensuring that the right experts are involved in the process and that their opinions are given appropriate weight. Ultimately, the goal of Section 745.6(3) is to ensure that offenders who are serving life sentences are not only punished for their crimes, but also rehabilitated and eventually reintegrated into society in a way that is safe for everyone involved. By taking a strategic and thoughtful approach to the application of this section, the justice system can achieve this important goal while also being fair and transparent to all stakeholders.