An Act to amend the Criminal Code (independence of the judiciary)

This bill was last introduced in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2020.


Second reading (Senate), as of June 25, 2020
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to give a court the discretion to vary the punishment to be imposed in respect of an offence for which the punishment or different degrees or kinds of punishment is prescribed in an enactment.

It allows a court to decide to not make a mandatory prohibition order provided for under a provision of that Act, or to add conditions or vary any of the conditions set out in that provision, if the court considers it just and reasonable to do so. It requires the court to provide its reasons for making such a decision.

It requires a court to consider all available options prior to imposing a minimum punishment of imprisonment or period of parole ineligibility under a provision of that Act, and to provide written reasons for imposing a minimum punishment of imprisonment or period of parole ineligibility.

It gives a court discretion in the treatment or counselling program that a person who has been found guilty of an offence may attend and removes the requirement for the Attorney General to give his or her consent in order to delay sentencing under subsection 720(2) of that Act.

It provides that a judge is to take into consideration the recommendation of the jury in setting the period of parole ineligibility of a person who has been found guilty of first or second degree murder.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

October 29th, 2020 / 12:25 p.m.
See context


Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, BC

Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

I want to start by thanking the minister for his frank acknowledgement that there is systemic racism in the Canadian justice system and for acknowledging the overrepresentation of indigenous people and racialized Canadians in it.

While the statements of the government are very positive, they're sometimes frustratingly vague. So as to not commit the same offence myself, let me ask very specifically about one measure that would make the biggest difference in the everyday situation of those people who are differentially treated in our justice system: mandatory minimums.

Can we expect any initiative from this government to reduce or eliminate mandatory minimums except for the most serious crimes, and if there's not going to be initiative from the government, will the government support the bill on mandatory minimums that's making its way through the Senate, S-208, which gives discretion back to judges to not impose them?