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Chapter 1

SOC209H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Public Prosecution Service Of Canada, Restorative Justice, Precedent


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC209H5
Professor
Paula Maurutto
Chapter
1

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The Criminal Justice System: An Overview
Terms
Adversarial
sbystem
a justice system in which advocates for each party present their cases
before a neutral judge or a jury
Canadian Charter of
Rights and
Freedoms
a component of the Constitution Act that guarantees basic rights and
freedoms
Civil law a general category of laws relating to contracts, torts, inheritances,
divorce, custody of children, ownership of property, and so on
Conflict model the view that crime and punishment reflect the power some groups have
to influence the formulation and application of criminal law
Constitution Act,
1867
Constitutional authority for the division of responsibilities between the
federal and provincial governments
Crime an act or omission that is prohibited by criminal law
Crime control
model
an orientation to criminal justice in which the protection of the
community and the apprehension of offenders are paramount
Criminal Code federal legislation that sets out criminal laws, procedures for prosecuting
federal offences, and sentences and procedures for the administration of
justice
Criminal law that body of law which deals with conduct considered so harmful to
society as a whole that it is prohibited by statute and prosecuted and
punished by the government
Discretion the freedom to choose between different options when confronted with
the need to make a decision; the ability of a police officer to choose
among several possible courses of action in carrying out a mandated
task
Due process model an orientation to criminal justice in which the legal rights of individual
citizens, including those suspected of committing a crime against the
State, are paramount
Hybrid (or elective)
offences
offences that can be prosecuted either summarily or by indictment-a
decision that is always made by the Crown
Interoperability the ability of hardware and software from multiple databases from
multiple agencies to communicate with one another
Restorative justice an approach to justice based on the principle that criminal behaviour
injures the victim, the offender, and the community
Rule of law the foundation of the Canadian legal system

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Stare decisis the principle by which the higher courts set precedents that the lower
courts must follow
Value consensus
model
the view that crime and punishment reflect commonly held opinions and
limits of tolerance
Introduction
Criminal Justice- way we respond to those alleged to have committed and/or been
convicted of criminal offences
The criminal justice system is a human enterprise; decisions of police, judges, and other
law professionals are based generally on professional judgment, experience and intuition
rather than scientific formulas
What is the Criminal Justice System?
Generally considered to contain all agencies, organizations, and personnel involved in
prevention of and response to crime and dealing with persons charged with criminal
offences and persons convicted of crime
Includes crime prevention and crime reduction
Arrest and prosecution of suspects
hearing or criminal cases by the courts
sentencing and administration and enforcement of court orders
parole and other conditional release
supervision and assistance for ex-offenders released into community
also recently added, restorative justice
responds to the breaking of law with investigation, prosecution and also punishment
does not respond to every breach of law
only fraction of criminal acts committed are brought to the attention of law
authorities
a smaller fraction of those cases are heard in courts or lead to a sentence of
incarceration
most cases are usually resolved with a guilty plea (plea negotiation) and few cases
go to trial
The Structure of Criminal Justice
operated and controlled almost entirely by governments
elected officials (usually members of Parliament) play a small but important role in the
criminal justice process
it is in parliament and provincial legislatures that elected officials enact and amend laws,
establish annual budgets for criminal justice agencies, determine fiscal allocations and
conduct investigation and inquiries into different activities of justice system when required
most people employed in the criminal justice system are government employees, but not
all of them
in the federal and provincial governments, senior civil servants (appointed) have
power over their governments
At the civil service level, professionals make day-to-day decision in regards to
criminal justice policy and practice
Role and Responsibilities of Governments in Criminal Justice
Three levels of government in Canada federal, provincial and municipal; all play a role in
the system

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Division of responsibilities between federal and provincial govt outlined in Constitution Act,
1867
Basic division is that the federal govt decides which behaviours constitute criminal
offences and the provincial govt is responsible for law enforcement and administrating the
justice system
Federal govt plays major role in policing through agreements with RCMP
Municipal govt play a smaller role which is related mainly to policing and bylaw
enforcement
Federal Government
Because of the Constitution, Parliament in Ottawa has absolute control to create, amend
and repeal criminal law for all of Canada
Sets procedures for prosecuting persons changed with criminal offences and establishes
punishments to be imposed for all federal offences
Operates RCMP , prosecutes some federal offences (narcotics), appoints some judges and
manages some courts, operates correctional institutions and operates parole board
Federal Offences
Behaviours considered crime listed in Criminal Code along with procedures for responding
to crime; most important statute governing prosecution of criminal offences
Code also sets out procedures for arrest and prosecution and penalties that may be
imposed by a judge after conviction
Federal offences set out in various acts or statutes
Other Federal Statutes
The Charter is the primary law of the land
Guarantees fundamental freedoms, legal rights and equality rights for everyone in Canada
with limited restrictions
Provides protection for people and ensures fairness during legal proceedings
All components of criminal justice system must operate in a way so that they do no
violate rights guaranteed in the Charter
Portfolio of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Includes key federal agencies responsible for public safety and security
Directed by a federal minister and includes department of public safety and emergency
preparedness
Provides strategic policy advice and several programs and serves relating to public safety
and security
Ie. RCMP, Correctional services of Canada, national parole board
Federal Prosecutors, Courts, and Judges
Federal Prosecution Service (FPS) staffed by prosecutors and lawyer agents hired from
private sector
Conducts prosecutions across Canada on behalf of Attorney General of Canada
Through the office of the commissioner for federal judicial affairs, the federal govt
appoints judges to federal courts
Federal minister of justice appoints all judges in superior trial courts in provinces
Federal Corrections
Constitution Act, 1867- constitutional authority for the division of responsibilities
between the federal and provincial governments
Criminal Code: federal legislation that sets out criminal laws, procedures for
prosecuting federal offences, and sentences and procedures for the administration of
justice
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: component of the Constitution Act that
guarantees basic rights and freedoms
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