Essay On Status Of Canadian Victims Bill Of Rights Bill C - 32
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According to public record publication on the Bill C- 32 covering the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights it is a law as aligned to Royal Assent. Perry offers commentary how this is a victory for active advocates of victims’ rights nonetheless, there remain concerns Bill C-32 does not meet the original expectations of proponents. Concerns exist that Bill C-32 does not live up to the expectations of victims. Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime O’Sullivan while applauding the legislation enactment makes it clear the Bill fails in her opinion addressing the depth and breadth of the needs and concerns of victims of criminal acts (Perry 2014).
Only four of the 30 Ombudsman recommendations presented prior to introducing Bill C-32 are fully implemented while another 10 on partly. O’Sullivan cites one of the primary issues around one of the main parts of Bill C-32 connects to the lack of any inclusionary efforts for effective enforcement measures of the rights as outlined in the law (Perry 2014).
Main Features of Bill C-32
Among the new listings of legal offences within Bill C-32 includes Internet distribution of non-consensual intimate imagery of individuals. In addition to this are complementary amendments authorizing removal of such images from the Internet with recovery of costs for doing so paid to the victim. In addition, in the process of doing so, the defendant forfeits all property used in commission of such an offence and issuance of a recognizance order for the prevention of any further distribution of such image as well as restriction on the convicted offender using a computer or the Internet again (Parliament of Canada 2014).
Further to the Victims Bill of Rights C-32, victims of crime have legal right to access covering information concerning the criminal justice system, its programs as well as services aligned to procedures filing complaints as reported when infringement and denial of rights of a victim of a crime incurs. Further, at the time the offender remains subject to the corrections process the victim of a crime retains the right to information concerning the current position of the criminal investigation, about the criminal proceedings, review information as well as dates of hearings once the court finds the defendant innocent of any crime based on a mental disorder or unfit to stand trial. Consequently, this applies to information concerning court decisions made at said reviews and hearings (Parliament of Canada 2014).
Victims of crimes under Bill C-32 retain the legal right for consideration of both their security and their privacy by the duly recognized appropriate authorities of the Canadian criminal justice system. This mandate includes victims of crimes having the right to protection from both intimidation and retaliation by the accused or any agent representative of the accused defendant. Additionally, victims of crimes under Bill C-32 retain the right demanding testimonial aids. Victims of crimes according to Bill C-32 retain their legal right in conveying subjective view concerning judicial decisions made by the court authorities of the Canadian criminal justice system affecting their rights as victims of crime(s) according to the victim’s right under the legal enactment of this Bill C-32. In doing so, victims of crimes under this law retain assurance said views retain consideration by all recognized authorities subordinate to carrying out the law. Further to this action, victims of crimes retain the legal authorization for presenting a victim impact statement with due consideration by all recognized authorities subordinate to carrying out the law as dictated by Bill C-32 (Parliament of Canada 2014).
As prescribed under the law per Bill C-32 in all cases, victims of crimes retain the right to have the courts consider ordering a restitution against the offender. Consequently, under Bill C-32 this further assures the victim of a crime retaining their legal authorization with the courts granting restitution entered as a civil court judgment enforceable against the convicted offender if and when the amount owed under the restitution order remains unpaid (Parliament of Canada 2014).
At the same time the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights further specifies the exact time periods these outlined victims of crime rights do solemnly apply, as well as identify those victims of crime duly recognized under the law as prescribed by Bill C-32 having the legal right exercising these permissions under this law. As aligned to the description of Bill C-32, as per the interpretation of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights supports the victims of crime complaint mechanism and the federal departments’ requirements to create these complaint mechanisms (Parliament of Canada 2014).
Under the enactment of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights as per Bill C-32 the law amends the existing Criminal Code as connected to defining the meaning of “victim” as it appears in the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights. In so doing, protection of the privacy and security of the specific interests of complainants as well as witnesses in all legal proceedings as connected to the courts relating to certain sexual offences thus ensuring all remain informed of his or her right of legal representation (Parliament of Canada 2014).
Amendments to the existing Criminal Code under Canadian Law shows Bill-C32 broadens interpretation of the conduct as prescribed and applied as an offence of intimidation according to Canadian justice system participants. In addition, Bill C-32 expands the list of factors a court may consider when determining the validity of an exclusion order as in the interest of the proper administration of justice. In so doing this includes enabling witnesses using a pseudonym in appropriate cases as well as mandatory banning publication of victims’ identities under the age of 18 upon application. As aligned to the safety and security of victims of crimes the law ensures provision of a legal order per judicial interim release indicting such action indeed was considered as exemplified by requiring the court inquiry of any reasonable steps via the prosecutor informing victims of any plea agreement entered to the courts by the defendant. In this process the victim receives assistance in conveying a victim impact statement voicing his/her views about the harm received by the victim and to the community at sentencing and proceedings of hearings held by Review Boards. At the time of judiciary interim release orders, probation, or conditional sentence order of the condemned accused the courts must provide victims the right requesting a copy of all such documents. (Parliament of Canada 2014).
The Bill C-32 specifies payment of a victim surcharge must take place within the reasonable time it is imposed within the province by the lieutenant governor. This process provides the victim of a crime with a specific form requesting the acknowledged court authority consider creation of a restitution order that includes in all cases, and that, in the case of multiple victim of the same crime, a restitution order specifies the amounts owed each victim designating among the victims the priority of payment (Parliament of Canada 2014).
Other amends to the Canada Evidence Act provided under the passing of Bill C-37 looks at securing no person is incompetent, or un-compellable in testifying on behalf of the prosecution in testifying for the plaintiff due to a state of legal marriage to the defendant. Additional factors of Bill C-37 amends that Act by adding a new subsection governing the questioning of witnesses over the age of 14 years as aligned to certain circumstances. Enactment of Bill C-32 further amends the Canadian Corrections and Conditional Release Act supporting the victim permission under the law having access to information outlining the offender’s correctional plan progress. Critical to the expectations of victims of crime with the passing of the Bill C-32 looks at the right of victims having permission for access to a current photograph of the convicted offender at the time of either his/her conditional release or the expiration of the court ordered sentence (Parliament of Canada 2014).
Review of the rights under enactment of Bill C-32 allows victims of crimes disclosure of information concerning the convicted offender’s deportation when occurring prior to the expiration of the offender’s sentence, release date, destination, as well as any court ordered conditions of release, unless the disclosure potentially could create a negative impact on public safety. In the spirit of the law pertaining to such disclosure, enactment of Bill C-32 also allows victims of crimes the ability releasing of the above listed information under the Act to a designated representative of his/her choice. At the same time, victims of crimes may also waive their right to the above information as outlined under the Act (Parliament of Canada 2014).
With the passing of Bill C-32 the Correctional Service of Canada have several mandates directed at serving victims by informing them of the victim-offender mediation services, allowing victims not attending the condemned offender parole hearing with an audio recording of the hearing, and proved decisions by the Parole Board of Canada regarding the offender to the victim. Incidences where victims provided a statement describing the harm, property damage, or loss they suffered resulting from the commission of an offence, the Parole Board of Canada must impose victim geographic restrictions and/or non-contact as conditions of prisoner release, as deemed reasonable and necessary for victim protection in relation convicted offenders under court ordered long-term supervision once released from incarceration (Parliament of Canada 2014).
Other legal mandates arising from administering the law according to Victim Rights Bill C-32 includes preservation of demands and orders of electronic evidence along with new production orders compelling production of data relating to transmission of communications and the location of transactions, individuals or things as evidentiary objects in a criminal case. This includes extension of current investigative power through issuing a warrant covering evidentiary data connected to telephones used for transmitting data as related to all means of telecommunications as connected to victimization of a person or persons during a crime (Parliament of Canada 2014).
Other areas covered under the new amendment to the Canadian Victims of Crime Bill covers different criteria for the issuance of warrants related to people, places, and things as related to the necessary evidence in gaining a conviction of a defendant causing harm to a victim of a crime including an individual, persons, or a community. Other considerations connected to warrants affect confidentiality rights while amending the Canada Evidence Act ensuring the spouse as compellable and competent prosecution witness as connected to the newly outlined non-contact offence in the case of a non-consensual distribution of intimate images on the Internet. Further to amending the existing Competition Act enforcing specific provisions as outlined and added to the Criminal Code directed at respecting demands and orders in preserving computer data and orders in producing documents connected to transmitting communications or financial data resulting in criminal victimization. In doing so the amendment modernizes the provisions of the Act aligned to electronic evidence in providing measurably more effective enforcement within technologically advanced environmental situations. To this, the last amendment provided under the new law attaches to the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act making parts of the new investigative powers as added to the Criminal Code available to Canadian authorities executing incoming assistance requests as well as allowing the Commissioner of Competition power creating search warrants under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act (Parliament of Canada 2014).
Subjective Perspective of the Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths from enacting Bill C-32 clearly provide for the first time specific recognition of the needs experienced from the harm incurred as a result of people becoming victims of crimes. Other positive changes allow victims of crimes to have a voice at parole hearings. Victims of crimes now have the y right to notification of the release of their offender along with a current photo of him/her. Other safeguards along this line provide safety and security measures previously not offered in Canada. Conversely, the weaknesses of the bill lacks providing victims of crime automatic assistance to the new victim services proved in the law but require the victim seek out the services whether aware they exist or not. The lack of government legal recourse offered to victims as part of the legal process fails in the spirit of the law with its intention to provide the humane considerations of compassion in easing the harm and suffering victims of crime experience. Therefore, in failing to do so the issue falls under an old saying, of “ignorance of the law is no excuse” bringing to the forefront the failure of the state and the court proving the law exists automatically offer victimization rights and surely creates the failure of many of the victims’ rights because unless they ask they do not know. If they want to enforce their rights they do not have the ability under the law – only the right but no backup as situations would require.
Parliament of Canada. Summary of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights. Web. 2014.
Perrin, Benjamin. More Than Words – Enhancing the Proposed “Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (Bill C-32)” A Macdonald-Laurier Institute Publication Web June 2014
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