Textbook Notes (363,147)
Canada (158,221)
Psychology (3,263)
PSYC 3020 (97)
Dan Yarmey (94)
Chapter 9

Chapter 9 psych law

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3020
Dan Yarmey

CHAPTER 9: SENTENCING AND PAROLE IN CANADA: PRACTICES AND PUBLIC OPINION THE STRUCTURE OF THE CANADIAN COURT SYSTEM - some of the major roles of courts in Canada include hearing evidence presented at trial, determining guilt and innocence, and rendering sentencing decisions across a wide range of criminal and civil cases. - The court system in Canada is relatively complex, is made up of many types of courts that are separated by jurisdiction and levels of legal superiority. - Jurisdiction: courts in Canada can be split up to provincial/territorial and federal courts, conceptualized as a 4 lvls hierarchy of legal superiority. - Tribunals are the bottom layer of courts but, but are not officially part of the Canadian court system. - The lowest lvl (lvl 1) of actual court hierarchy in Canada consists of provincial/ territorial courts (sometimes referred to inferior courts)- they can hear appeals from tribunal courts. - Next lvl (lvl 2) up in the provincial/ territorial jurisdiction includes provincial/territorial “superior” courts. Primary role= act as the court of first appeal for courts at the lowest level of hierarchy. These courts try most serious criminal and civil cases—that often involve injury. - Both provincial/territorial courts often specialize in particular areas (e.g., family law) - (lvl 3) At the federal level (the federal court of Canada), serves to review administrative decisions made by federal administrative tribunals (e.g., related to matters such as immigration) - (lvl 4) top of hierarchy= Supreme Court of Canada: created in 1875, the SCCC consists of 8 judges plus the chief justice, who are all appointed by the federal government. The SCCC, is the final court of appeal in Canada, and lower Canadian courts are bound by its ruling, also provides guidance to fed. Gov. on law- related matters, such as the interpretation of the Canadian constitution. Aboriginal Courts - Aboriginal overrepresentation: the discrepancy between the relatively low proportion of aboriginal people in the general Canadian population (3%) and the relatively high proportion of aboriginal people involved in the criminal justice system (17%). - Problem seen across the country, but more of a problem in prairie provinces. - 3 factors appear to contribute to aboriginal overrepresentation: - 1) aboriginals commit more crime than other ethnicities - 2) aboriginals appear to be processed by criminal justice in a different way, could be systematic and or overt racism. - 3) aboriginals on average in Canada are more economically disadvantaged. (It is known that aboriginals are more likely than non-aboriginals to be serving time in prison for fine defaults.) - things being done in Canada to reduce overrepresentation - BILL C-41= all available sanctions other than incarceration should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offences. - SCC- ruling had been that the development of courts in Canada that focus on processing aboriginal offenders. BOX 9.1- Gladue Courts- special cultural considerations and adverse background conditions are taken into account when assessing the case of aboriginal people on trial. Works to mitigate/ reduce culpability of offender. (e.g., substance abuse, poverty, lack of employment) - Consideration of Gladue factors will sometimes result in the application of restorative justice: an approach for dealing with the crime problem that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime. Based on the philosophy that when victims, offenders, and community members meet voluntarily to decide how to achieve this, transformation can result. The primary objective is to prevent further damage from occurring (community safety). Restorative justice diagram Community + offender= competency development (restorative justice) Victim + offender= Accountability (restorative justice) Victim + community= community safety (restorative justice) SENTENCING IN CANADA - sentencing process: the judicial determination of legal sanction upon a person convicted of an offence. The purpose of sentencing - obvious goal of sentencing is to change the behaviour of convicted offenders and the behaviour of potential offenders who reside in the community. - Specific deterrence: Offenders are sentenced to reduce the probability that they will violate the law again in the future. - General deterrence: sentencing to reduce the probability that members of the general public will offend in the future. - Sentencing provides fertile ground for many issues of human behaviour for psychologists to explore. - Objectives of sentencing include: - Imposing sanctins to provide a safe and just society - To denounce unlawful conduct - To separate offenders from society - To assist in rehabilitating offenders - To provide reparations (e.g., the offender pays the victim or the community) for harm done to victims or the community. - Following facts clear about sentencing: - Judges often consider more than 1 goal when handing down a sentence - These goals can at times be incompatible with each other. - Different judges across Canada likely hand down different sentences for different reasons, even when dealing with similar offences/offenders. ( e.g., one judge will chose to hand down a sentence for rehabilitation, t
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