A startling idea -- especially as the Constitution expressly applies to offences -- almost certainly not lawful:
A discussion paper issued by the federal Department of Justice is suggesting that for certain offences, the assurance of lower penalties or no time in jail in exchange for reduced protection under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms could lead to a more efficient criminal justice system.
A number of options to achieve these goals arise in the proportionality discussion paper issued by the federal steering committee on justice efficiencies and access to justice.
The discussion paper, which dates back to last year, went out to a number of groups representing participants in the justice system on May 16 along with an introductory letter from Lori Sterling, associate deputy minister for the Justice Department and a member of the committee.
“The full protection of the Charter is necessary and strict rules of evidence are appropriate to ensure fairness to a person charged with a serious criminal offence,” wrote Sterling.
“However, we feel it is necessary to ponder the following question: Is this protection necessary and appropriate with respect to every offence? In the post-Charter world, moving towards greater proportionality is challenging, but, the committee believes, essential.”