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Gladue

Hot off the press: Are you Aboriginal?

Are You Aboriginal?

Are-You-Aboriginal-Gladue-First-Nations-Court-350-lssWe’ve updated our Are you Aboriginal? fact sheet. This fact sheet is for Aboriginal people who have been charged with a crime. It includes information on Gladue rights — special rights under the Criminal Code that encourage judges to take a restorative justice approach. This means that, when setting bail or sentencing, the judge must keep in mind the special circumstances that Aboriginal offenders face, and consider all options other than jail. Gladue rights apply to all Aboriginal people: status and non-status Indians, Inuit, Métis, and anyone who self-identifies as Aboriginal.

The fact sheet also includes information on the First Nations Courts in  Duncan, Kamloops, and New Westminster. It includes contact information for the First Nations Court duty counsel, and information on how to apply to have your matter transferred to First Nations Court.

The 2nd Annual Courage in Law Award

Pam & JCB AwardOn March 20 of this year, the Indigenous Law Students’ Association at UBC Law gave out their annual Courage in Law Award. The award is given to recognize people who have shown leadership and courage in advancing legal services for indigenous people and fostering diversity in the legal profession.

Among the recipients was our very own Pamela Shields who manages Aboriginal services for LSS. Among her other work at LSS, Pamela has been instrumental in promoting and implementing Gladue rights throughout the province. Gladue rights are the Criminal Code rights to special consideration that a judge must give an Aboriginal person when setting bail or during sentencing.

The award was also given to retired Judge Cunliff Barnett and Gail Davidson. Judge Barnett is known for taking his court to Indigenous communities where he created space for indigenous legal traditions in his judicial decisions. He is currently involved with the First Nations Court in Kamloops. Gail Davidson serves as the executive director of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada and has worked to advocate for the protection of indigenous women’s rights in Canada.

Not content with just receiving an award that day, both Pamela Shields and Judge Barnett went on to give presentations to UBC law students, speaking about Gladue rights and how to make space for indigenous legal traditions in the criminal court system.

To learn more about Gladue, see Aboriginal legal rights — Gladue on the LSS website, as well as Are You Aboriginal? (fact sheet) and our Gladue Primer.

Hot off the press: Gladue Primer

Gladue Primer

The Gladue Primer has been reprinted and is now available to order. This booklet is for Aboriginal defendants who want to know more about their Gladue rights and are working with their lawyer or advocate to prepare a Gladue report. The booklet may also be helpful to Aboriginal advocates, Aboriginal justice workers, members of the Aboriginal community, and the legal community. Gladue rights are rights under the Criminal Code that refer to the special consideration that judges must give an Aboriginal person when setting bail or during sentencing. Glaude rights apply to anyone who self-identifies as Aboriginal. The booklet explains in plain language the history of Gladue and what Gladue rights mean for Aboriginal defendants. The booklet also has a workbook and resources that will walk Aboriginal defendants and their lawyer or advocate through the process of preparing a Gladue report.

Learn about writing Gladue reports and more at the Gladue Bootcamp!

Gladue LogoBC Aboriginal community members are invited to apply to our Gladue Bootcamp (provided in partnership with the Justice Institute of BC).  The bootcamp will provide training on writing Gladue reports, and will take place in New Westminster on June 22, 23 and 24, 2011.

Gladue is a remedial response to the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in prison that encourages incorporating Aboriginal traditions and restorative justice into the justice system.

Training is free and accommodation will be provided for June 22, 23, and 24. All other expenses, including travel, are the responsibility of the trainee or trainee’s organization.

To apply, contact Pamela Shields, Manager, Aboriginal Services, at Pamela.Shields@lss.bc.ca

The deadline to apply is June 6, 2011.

Hot off the press from LSS: Gladue Primer

Gladue PrimerThis new booklet, the Gladue Primer, is for Aboriginal defendants who want to know more about their Gladue rights and are working with their lawyer or advocate to prepare a Gladue report. The booklet may also be helpful to Aboriginal advocates, Aboriginal justice workers, members of the Aboriginal community, and the legal community. Gladue rights are rights under the Criminal Code that refer to the special consideration that judges must give an Aboriginal person when setting bail or during sentencing. Glaude rights apply to anyone who self-identifies as Aboriginal. The booklet explains in plain language the history of Gladue and what Gladue rights mean for Aboriginal defendants. The booklet also has a workbook and resources that will walk Aboriginal defendants and their lawyer or advocate through the process of preparing a Gladue report.

First Nations Court expanded duty counsel has a new phone number!

Rob Frederickson, expanded duty counsel for First Nations Court in New Westminster, now has a new toll-free number: 1-877-601-6066. He can still be reached at 604-825-1861 for those of you in Greater Vancouver.

Duty counsel are lawyers who give free legal advice at court, the day of court, while expanded First Nations duty counsel are lawyers who help people apply for First Nations Court and give legal advice on or before the day of court. You or your client can call Rob Frederickson at 1-877-601-6066 (no charge) or 604-825-1861 for information about applying to have a sentencing hearing in First Nations Court.

First Nations Court is located at the New Westminster Provincial Court, and is presided over by Judge Marion Buller Bennett. First Nations Court takes a holistic, restorative, and healing approach to sentencing, with a focus on rehabilitation whenever possible. The court sits once a month and hears criminal and related child protection matters. The court can hear cases referred to it from all over BC.

For more information about First Nations Court, Gladue rights (Gladue refers to the unique consideration judges must give an Aboriginal person when sentencing or setting bail), and more, check out the LSS fact sheet Are You Aboriginal? Do You Have a Bail Hearing? Are You Being Sentenced for a Crime? Do You Know About First Nations Court?