CBA raises serious concerns with omnibus criminal bill

September 20, 2011

OTTAWA – The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has concerns with several aspects of the government’s proposed omnibus crime bill, including mandatory minimum sentences and overreliance on incarceration, constraints on judges’ discretion to ensure a fair result in each case, and the Bill’s impact on specific, already disadvantaged groups. 
The Bill’s approach is contrary to what is known to lead to a safer society. The CBA is also concerned about how this omnibus process is likely to limit appropriate careful parliamentary study of the Bill’s component parts. The Bill, Safe Streets and Communities Act, was introduced today. 
“The impact on northern residents, Aboriginal people and people with mental illness will be especially profound,” says Dan MacRury, of Sydney, Nova Scotia, chair of the CBA’s National Criminal Justice Section. The CBA believes that the Bill will make already serious criminal justice system problems much worse, with huge resource implications.

Representatives of the CBA’s National Criminal Justice Section are available for comment. Please contact Hannah Bernstein.
The Canadian Bar Association is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 37,000 lawyers, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members.



Hannah Bernstein
The Canadian Bar Association
Tel: 613-237-2925 x 146


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