The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Justin Ling

Blog

The victim's right to restitution

By Justin Ling April 11, 2014 11 April 2014

When the federal Victims Bill of Rights was tabled last week, reactions were mixed — they ranged from punditry pondering whether there is any need for the bill at all, to victims advocates fretting that the bill doesn’t go quite far enough.

But, on the whole, the reaction has been positive.

Most indicators — internal Justice Department documents, transcripts from public consultations, and the recommendations from the Ombudsman for the Victims of Crime — suggested that the bill would blow open the Canadian justice system. There was evidence that the bill could do everything from giving victims the right to counsel at criminal proceedings to providing them the right to appeal sentencing prosecutorial decisions.

But, in the end, the bill tackled the eminently more manageable task of giving victims a conduit through which they can ensure that the system respects the existing practices that ought to be afforded to them — among other things, insurance that they are provided timely and accurate information about their case, a guarantee that they can offer perspective in parole and sentencing hearings, and the right to restitution.

For the latter of those cases, in writing my feature following the bill’s tabling, I made an erroneous assumption.

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Voting and Quebec's domicile rule

By Justin Ling April 5, 2014 5 April 2014

Voting and Quebec's domicile rule

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Reforming the Divorce Act

By Justin Ling April 2, 2014 2 April 2014

Reforming the Divorce Act

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Next stop: Senate reference

By Justin Ling March 21, 2014 21 March 2014

Next stop: Senate reference

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The Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act

By Justin Ling March 11, 2014 11 March 2014

The Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act

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