Justice & the Rule of Law in Canada
Our criminal justice system must remain dedicated to prevention, protection and rehabilitation.
Canada has long had one of the most respected justice systems in the world. Our laws, civil code, criminal code and courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, while distinctive, are also considered almost without exception among the best in their class.
Yet despite decades of progress, some crime rates remain stubbornly high – or have even increased in recent years. Access to justice remains out of reach to many due to cost or delays. Organized crime, white collar crime, fraud, cyber-crime tax evasion remain commonplace.
Canada should aim to achieve excellence in all aspects of the rule of law, while seeking to make our laws and justice system more intelligible, accessible and accountable to all of us.
Given that Canada’s unity and prosperity have been achieved on the basis of a continuity in our justice system over centuries, unbroken by war, revolution or tyranny, we should also aim to be a global proponent of sound laws and justice institutions.
As Leader and Prime Minister I would:
(i) strengthen the criminal justice system to reduce rates of violent crime, including by introducing stiffer sentences for the most violent crimes, repeat violent offenders and offenders whose crimes involve sexual violence;
(ii) enhance access to justice and the integrity of the justice system by meeting the requirements of the Supreme Court R. v. Jordan decision;
(iii) enhance the role of victims in the justice system, including by implementing all provisions of the Victims’ Bill of Rights;
(iv) improve access to justice, resolve cases more rapidly and ensure timely, efficient, merit-based appointments to the bench;
(v) strengthen rehabilitation programmes, especially for young offenders;
(vi) seek to reduce rates of incarceration of indigenous people, as well as those suffering from mental illness;
(vii) end solitary confinement in federal correctional facilities;
(viii) increase Canada’s capacity to investigate and prevent cyber-, white collar and contemporary organized crime; and
(ix) create a new joint agency to deliver Canadian legal and justice expertise in support of enhanced national and international institutions worldwide, using a voluntary model to the greatest extent possible.