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August 2016 Archives

ONCA Puts an End to Sentence Splitting

Section 732(1) of the Criminal Code allows an offender to serve an intermittent sentence if the sentence imposed is 90 days or less and the Judge deems it appropriate. In determining if an intermittent sentence is appropriate, the court looks at the age and character of the offender, the nature of the offence and the circumstances surrounding its commission, and the availability of appropriate accommodation to ensure compliance with the sentence. The courts commonly impose intermittent sentences, to be served on weekends, when an offender is gainfully employed during the week.


In a bold move, Justice Moldaver, writing for the majority of the Supreme Court, has radically altered the analysis for trial courts deciding whether delays in completing trials are unreasonable. In a rare move, the Court departed from precedent. Justice Moldaver wrote that the traditional framework developed in the 25 years since Askov, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1199, "has given rise to both doctorial and practical problems, contributing to a culture of delay and complacency towards it".

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