Legal Commentary

Without Northern Justice, Southern Justice steps in

Snaking through the delta


The CBC Forum on indigenous justice underlined the fact that Northern communities, composed generally of well-intentioned and law abiding members, have not acted as nations by taking control of their non law-abiding members.  The point is that, ultimately, if there was Northern justice, southern justice would not have to step in.


I see this problem in Court all the time, where the presiding Judge is faced with sentencing an individual who has injured another member of the community and having no real option but to send him or her to jail.  The southern justice paradigm the Judge brings with her/him includes the idea of jail as a collective expression of repudiation for the violence that brings the offender before the Court.

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Charter Application; Truth in Sentencing (sic) and dead-time credit – sections 12, 7, 11(e) and (h)

Spring Aurora

After extended deliberations at the conclusion of a trial conducted before a judge and jury, the jury entered an acquittal in relation to one of the charges Patrick Nadli faced.  The jury was not able to reach a conclusion in relation to the most important remaining charge – sex assault cause bodily harm.  The Crown gave notice that it would be seeking another trial to resolve this count and Nadli (who had been waiting in jail for over 2 years) decided to enter a guilty plea.


Nadli was sentenced to 5 years in jail for these reasons – R. v. Nadli, 2014 NWTSC 71 (CanLII).  The remaining question was – what credit should he receive for his pre-sentence custody?

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