New Aboriginal Personís court opens today in Brantford
Friday, January 17, 2014
Jan. 17 Ė Brantfordís first Aboriginal Personís court is open for business today to support Aboriginal clients in the Brantford area for two days every month. Aboriginal clients can also access free legal aid services in the courthouse.
The provinceís newest Aboriginal Personís court (known elsewhere in the province as a Gladue court) is located in the Brantford Courthouse, in close proximity to the largest First Nation in Canada. Among its specialized features, the Aboriginal Personís court:
- is available to all self-identifying Aboriginal persons
- will 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
- will propose sentences using a restorative justice approach that aligns with Aboriginal culture and traditions
Brantfordís Aboriginal Personís court will deal with criminal guilty pleas and sentencing. Local duty counsel lawyers, some of whom are Aboriginal, will:
- represent eligible clients on guilty pleas, including negotiations with the Crown
- provide referrals to agencies that can help develop the clientís rehabilitation plan and
- address Gladue principles before the court.
LAO staff in the court will provide a range of free LAO services such as advice and information. As part of LAOís Aboriginal Justice Strategy, staff and duty counsel have received cultural training that will help them provide effective services to low-income Aboriginal Ontarians.
Supporting Aboriginal Personsí courts is part of LAOís Aboriginal Justice Strategy Ė its ongoing 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: