Victim Fine Surcharge: R v. Bouderault
Previously under the Criminal Code of Canada, Section 737 mandated that any offender who is convicted, or discharged under section 730, of an offence under the Criminal Code or the Controlled and Drugs and Substances Act, shall pay a victim Surcharge in addition to any other punishement imposed on the offender. Section 737(2) further read that the determination of the amount was 30% of the fine imposed; $100 in the offence was punishable by way summary conviction; and 200$ if offence punishable by Indictment.
This provision was recently examined in the recent the Supreme Court Decision of Canada in R v. Bouderault 2018 SCC 58. The supreme court in this case held and reasoned that the mandatory victim surcharge under the Criminal Code of Canada, was deemed unconstitutional as it violated section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which reads that “everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment”. In other words, the court held that this victim surcharge was considered cruel and unusual punishment as it created undue hardships on marginalized offenders and the provision failed to consider financial circumstances of the offender.
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