The Roles Of The Main Players In A Canadian Criminal Law Case

1146 words - 5 pages

The role of a judge is to preside over trials in our courts of law while exercising the virtues of integrity, impartiality and independence. It is the duty of a judge to uphold the rule of law to ensure equal treatment of everyone in pursuit of justice. A judge must also uphold the principles of the Canadian Constitution to protect the rights of individual citizens, as well as to guarantee that Canadian legislation does not exceed its boundaries. Judges must exercise their roles at three stages throughout the judicial process; the pre-trial, trial, and during sentencing. During the judicial pre-trial, it is the role of the judge to discuss matters of disclosure with both the prosecutor and defense council, to hear evidence in order to ensure there is sufficient evidence for a trial, and (if necessary) to discuss possible sentences for a guilty plea. During the trial, the role of the judge is to rule on the admissibility of evidence, objections made by council and charter motions while simultaneously receiving the facts of the case. A judge must then summarize the facts of the case, apply the facts to the law and charge the jury, or make a ruling on the case. During sentencing, a judge must consider the facts of the case, the principle of justice, and the aggravating and mitigating factors of the case and then determine an appropriate sentence for the offender.The role of judges is seen in the case of R. Vs. Belance, a sentencing hearing in the Superior Court of Ontario. Mr. Belance has been convicted of second degree murder and his defence council, Gary Barnes is proposing the minimum punishment of life in prison with eligibility of parole after 10 years. On the other hand the crown prosecutor, Mark Holmes, is asking for the eligibility of parole to changed to between 15 to 18 years. The role of the judge, honorable Albert Roy, was then seen as he outlines the reasoning for his sentence. Roy sited section 718 of the criminal code, stating that the sentence must fit the crime, and that it must act as a deterrence (both specific and general), protect society, denounce the acts committed, and protect the public. Roy then summarized the facts of the case and stated the mitigating factors the Mr. Belance was only 19 at the time of the crime, and had no previous criminal record. Roy then outlined the aggravating influences on the sentence, that Mr. Belance has no job and does not go to school and has a drug problem. He also showed absolutely no remorse or responsibility, he had no motive, reason or threat to commit the crime, he showed callous contempt for life and had a concealed and illegal weapon. Judge Roy also based the sentence on the victim impact statements of the family of the deceased, and their overwhelming support during the trial. Judge Roy then concluded that rehabilitation might be a complete waste of time for Mr. Belance, but because of his age and lack of criminal record, it is a necessity to try. Judge Roy also stated that since Mr....

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