Brantford to welcome new LAO-supported court designed to meet needs of Aboriginal people
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Jan. 7 – Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is joining the local bar and Aboriginal stakeholders today to celebrate the upcoming Jan. 17th opening of an Aboriginal Persons court in Brantford, home to the largest First Nation in Canada.
The Aboriginal Persons court is a Gladue court designed to handle the cases of Aboriginal people who have been charged with a criminal offence. Among other special features, Gladue courts take the findings of Gladue reports into consideration. These are reports on offenders' backgrounds, including circumstances unique to this community such as residential school experiences. In addition, Gladue courts propose sentences using a restorative justice approach that aligns with Aboriginal culture and traditions.
Accused persons who identify themselves as Aboriginal can choose to have their matter heard by an Aboriginal Persons court. The one in Brantford will accept guilty pleas and sentence offenders.
LAO played an instrumental role in helping establish this specialized court in Brantford as well as five other Gladue courts in Ontario. As it does in every Gladue court, LAO will provide its clients with legal aid services once the court begins hearing cases on Jan. 17th.
Supporting Gladue courts is part of LAO’s Aboriginal Justice Strategy – a five-year plan dedicated to enhancing access to justice for Aboriginal people and achieving measurable improvements to services for Aboriginal people across Ontario.
For more information, please contact: