Impact of Race and Culture Assessment Reports

  • LAO may authorize an IRCA (sometimes referred to as enhanced pre-sentence report) for Black legally-aided clients when there has been a finding of guilt (after plea or trial).
  • The following requirements must be met before LAO can consider authorizing an IRCA for a Black legally-aided client:
    1. The Crown is seeking a sentence of two years or longer; or
    2. The Crown is seeking a custodial sentence (open or closed) for a youth charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act
  • Where a Black legally-aided client is facing a sentence of less than two years and the court has refused to endorse the record requesting that an IRCA be produced, but there are compelling reasons to consider an IRCA to arrive at a fair and proportionate outcome, LAO may approve funding for the IRCA.
  • When requesting authorization, please provide case details, a brief summary of why the client would benefit from this assessment, and any considerations that you are aware of that specifically relate to the impact of anti-Black racism on your client.
  • It is counsel’s responsibility to provide a detailed request outlining the reasons an IRCA is warranted along other information required to support the request.
  • The IRCA should be completed by an expert who holds a Masters degree in Social Work with experience in researching anti-black racism. LAO generally authorizes IRCAs for up to 40 hours at the rate of $100 per hour.
  • In the rare circumstance where further hours or higher rates are required, it is counsel’s responsibility to provide a detailed letter of justification in support of the request.
  • LAO requires the name of the expert, the expert’s curriculum vitae, the services that will be provided, the number of hours requested, and the rate the expert will charge.
  • All invoices submitted must include the dates of all services, a brief description of the services provided, and the amount of time spent on each service on each date.
  • If a racialized legally-aided client who is not Black requires a sentencing report, counsel may request a regular expert assessment for the purposes of sentencing, which will be considered for approval. Please see Section on Experts (b) Expert Assessments and Written Reports (i) Criminal Matters, above.

For more information please see the Disbursements Handbook (PDF).