People who identify as Aboriginal have Gladue rights under the Criminal Code of Canada as a result of their unique circumstances in Canada. This means that when an Aboriginal person is being sentenced, the judge must apply Gladue principles and take into account the factors that may have brought that person before the court.
The Aboriginal person can give the court information about themselves and their family history in a Gladue submission to help the judge decide the best sentence for them and their community. Our plain language booklet, Gladue Submission Guide, is a new resource to help Aboriginal peoples, lawyers, Native courtworkers, and advocates to prepare a Gladue submission for court.
The booklet explains Gladue rights, what happens at a bail or sentencing hearing, and what’s in a Gladue submission. It includes a Gladue factors checklist and a worksheet to gather the information needed to prepare a submission. In the worksheet, the Aboriginal person can give details about the Gladue factors that shaped their life and the restorative justice options that may help them address the issues that brought them before the court.
The Gladue Submission Guide is one of four new LSS Aboriginal publications about Gladue rights and First Nations Court this year. The other three are Your Gladue Rights, Gladue Rights at Bail and Sentencing, and What’s First Nations Court?
To find out more about Gladue rights, see the Aboriginal website.