LAO newsroom




New Aboriginal Persons court opens today in Brantford

Friday, January 17, 2014


Jan. 17 Brantfords first Aboriginal Persons court is open for business today to support Aboriginal clients in the Brantford area for two days every month. Aboriginal clients can also access free legal aid services in the courthouse.

The provinces newest Aboriginal Persons court (known elsewhere in the province as a Gladue court) is located in the Brantford Courthouse, in close proximity to the largest First Nation in Canada. Among its specialized features, the Aboriginal Persons court:

  • is available to all self-identifying Aboriginal persons
  • will take the findings of Gladue reports into consideration; these are reports on offenders' backgrounds, including circumstances unique to this community such as residential school experiences
  • will propose sentences using a restorative justice approach that aligns with Aboriginal culture and traditions

Brantfords Aboriginal Persons court will deal with criminal guilty pleas and sentencing. Local duty counsel lawyers, some of whom are Aboriginal, will:

  • represent eligible clients on guilty pleas, including negotiations with the Crown
  • provide referrals to agencies that can help develop the clients rehabilitation plan and
  • address Gladue principles before the court.

LAO staff in the court will provide a range of free LAO services such as advice and information. As part of LAOs Aboriginal Justice Strategy, staff and duty counsel have received cultural training that will help them provide effective services to low-income Aboriginal Ontarians.

Supporting Aboriginal Persons courts is part of LAOs Aboriginal Justice Strategy its ongoing plan dedicated to enhancing access to justice for Aboriginal people and achieving measurable improvements to services for Aboriginal people across Ontario.


Questions


For more information, please contact:

Emily Baillie
Communications Advisor
Legal Aid Ontario
Phone: 416-979-2352 ext.6013
Email: baillie@lao.on.ca or media@lao.on.ca