Defence Counsel

Gladue Principles are Equitable Transformative Justice Principles.  They apply across the entire criminal justice system.  Defence counsel are in a position to apply fair treatment in criminal defence practice through the recognition of the unique social history and culture of Aboriginal people.

The Canadian Criminal Code under s718.2(e) states "all available sanctions, other than imprisonment, that are reasonable in the circumstances and consistent with the harm done to victims or to the community should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders." 


Defence counsel should:

1. Familiarize yourselves with the relevant law;

2. Explain s. 718.2(e) and Gladue/Ipeelee to your client and gather relevant information to make useful submissions on the Gladue factors highlighted by the SCC in Ipeelee;  

3. Address s. 718.2(e) in your Gladue Submissions 

4. Where appropriate, request a Gladue report (e.g., where the Crown is seeking jail time).

(Please contact LSS).



To ensure the fair treatment of Aboriginal Peoples, Defence Counsel, and the Judge, have an obligation to apply Gladue Principles at:                

  • Charge assessment;

  • Bail hearings;

  • Sentencing hearings;

  • Reviews in First Nation/Indigenous Court;

  • Dangerous Offender Hearings (DO’s);

  • Long term Offender Hearings (LTO’s); and

  • Not Criminally Responsible Hearings (NCR’s).

© The Gladue Writers Society of British Columbia 2019