American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 52, Issue 3 (2016)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


Over the last number of years, the Government of Canada (which has exclusive constitutional jurisdiction over criminal law in Canada) enacted various pieces of legislation mandating the imposition of mandatory minimum periods of imprisonment for specific offences contained within the Criminal Code of Canada, R.S.C. 1985. This has included:

– the Safe Streets and Communities Act, S.C. 2012, c 1 (which imposed mandatory minimum penalties for certain sexual offences against children and which amended the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, R.S.C. 1985, to provide for minimum penalties for certain drug offences)1; and

– the Increasing Offenders’ Accountability for Victims Act, S.C. 2013, c 11 (which requires that a minimum “victim surcharge” be imposed on all offenders regardless of ability to pay).2