Q: What are some important Court decisions?

October 10, 2023

A:   1999 – R. v. Gladue – Supreme Court of Canada held that alternatives to incarceration and the unique circumstances of indigenous peoples must be considered during sentencing. 

2020 – Fraser v. Canada (AG) – Supreme Court of Canada recognized that equality under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms can be violated if a law (which appeared to treat everyone identically and neutrally) may produce inequity. Adverse impact discrimination occurs when a seemingly neutral law (or policy) has a disproportionate impact on members of groups protected on the basis of enumerated or analogous grounds. [RCMP members who took maternity leave and worked part time were denied full pension credits. Claimants argued that the pension consequences of job-sharing had a discriminatory impact on women contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court agreed.)

2021 – R. v. Morris – Ontario Court of Appeal  held that anti-Black racism is a real phenomenon in Canadian society and sentencing judges can take judicial notice without the need for evidence.