Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Conservatives Youth Crime Policy Is Unconstitutional

A few days ago the Conservative Party promised if re-elected young offenders of serious crimes will be tried as adults, given life sentences, and have their names made public; yet as recent as May 2008 the Supreme Court of Canada concluded that such policies are unconstitutional.

In the case of R. v. D.B., 2008 SCC 25 the Supreme Court concluded:

The presumption of an adult inconsistent with the principle of fundamental justice that young people are entitled to a presumption of diminished moral culpability.
As the Supreme Court noted the fact that such a policy is in conflict with fundamental justice is paramount, as fundamental justice is guaranteed in Section 7 of the Constitution of Canada. Section 7 states:
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
In addition, the fact the Conservatives wish to make serious young offenders names made public is again unconstitutional, for in the same decision as cited above, the Supreme Court ruled:
The onus on young persons to demonstrate why they remain entitled to the ongoing protection of a publication ban is also a violation of s. 7 of the Charter.
As shown above and explained by the highest court in Canada, the Conservatives in promising young offenders of serious crimes will be sent to life in jail, are promising to disregard the Canadian concept of fundamental justice, and replace it with their own.

The Constitution of Canada is our most important document, the Conservatives in promising to breach it, are assaulting our legal system and our country.


The Rat said...

Reverse onus in that case violated section 7, so get rid of revers onus and simply lower the standards by which young offenders can be named. Also, "adult sentences" is a little different from a longer or life sentence. The ability to hold very dangerous youth offenders in custody is important, something that is very difficult under the present act, and the length of time they can be held or at least controlled through probation or conditions should be longer than 10 years for murder. That, again, doesn't equal an adult sentence.

Anonymous said...

The Conservatives however are proposing reverse onus so you are agreeing with me that the Conservative Party is proposing unconstitutional policies.

Also standards by which young offenders can be named cannot be simply lowered, as the Supreme Court ruled that having the young offenders name made public is additional punishment and again disagrees with s.7.

Holding dangerous youth offenders is important; however 14 year olds do not have the moral culpability to be justifiably imprisoned for longer terms then 10 years.

I should note adults can be found guilty of first degree murder and be out in less then 10 years.


Anonymous said...

I should clarify I meant:

"Holding dangerous youth offenders is important; however 14 year olds should not be presumed to be morally culpable for imprisonment longer then 10 years."

Andy said...

so all the little low life scum suckers who kill little kids should be treated fairly and be shown respect, just cos they're kids? even though they've demonstrated that what they did was clearly thought out? I think kids are different now.. This isn't the 1950's anymore. Its about time ENGLAND did things again without other's approval and do what's right.