How do the Acts affect the sentencing of Aboriginal people in a criminal court case?

The courts have decided in previous court cases, such as Gladue, that when sentencing an Aboriginal offender judges should:

  • consider all available sentences other than jail time that are reasonable, and
  • pay particular attention to the life circumstances of Aboriginal offenders.

This means that if you self-identify as Aboriginal and you are convicted of a crime, intend to plead guilty to an offence, or if you are seeking bail, your lawyer or duty counsel will ask you questions about your personal history and background to be able to explain to the court what factors should be considered in your case. Factors that are considered include discrimination, physical abuse, separation from culture or family, or drug and alcohol abuse.