Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

May 16, 2008 16:43 ET

Statement From the Minister of Justice Concerning the Supreme Court of Canada's Decision on R. v. D.B.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 16, 2008) - The Honourable Robert Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, made the following statement following the release of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision of the case R. v. D.B.

"Our Government is committed to responding to the problems posed by youth crime and to using fair and appropriate measures to hold young people accountable when they break the law.

I am disappointed about this decision and its implications for the youth criminal justice system. I take note of the dissenting opinion of four justices, which defended Parliament's ability to balance the appropriate treatment of young offenders with the public interest in safety.

As the Minister of Justice, I remain committed to responding to the problems posed by youth crime and strengthening the YCJA. I believe that our youth criminal justice system must effectively hold young offenders accountable for serious crimes with meaningful consequences; instill within them a sense of responsibility for their delinquent or criminal behaviour; and give them a better opportunity for rehabilitation so that they do not re-offend. Our government believes that more work needs to be done to ensure that sentences are proportional to the gravity of the offence and to the degree of responsibility of the offender.

I recently introduced legislation that will strengthen the YCJA to allow judges to include deterrence and denunciation as principles of sentencing and make it easier to detain youth who pose a risk to public safety before their trials. I am also currently conducting a review of the YCJA to identify areas of concern regarding the provisions and principles of the YCJA. As part of this review, I will continue to look at sentencing reforms within the youth criminal justice system.

Our Government remains committed to ensuring that our youth criminal justice system fairly and effectively holds young offenders accountable for criminal conduct."

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Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Justice
    Genevieve Breton
    Director of Communications
    Department of Justice
    Media Relations