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3rd Session, 40th Legislature

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Bill 60

THE RESTORATIVE JUSTICE ACT


Table of Contents Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS the Criminal Code (Canada) and the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) authorize the use of alternative measures or extrajudicial sanctions in specified circumstances to deal with persons who have accepted responsibility for their conduct;

AND WHEREAS there are circumstances when the interests of justice are served by having an offender and the victim of the unlawful conduct or other community representatives find a resolution that promotes public safety by providing healing, reparation and re-integration into the community outside the traditional criminal prosecution process;

AND WHEREAS unlawful conduct by some offenders arises out of mental health conditions, addictions or other behavioural issues and there are instances when it is more appropriate to address these issues rather than deal with these offenders through the traditional criminal prosecution process;

AND WHEREAS it is in the public interest to develop and promote alternatives to the traditional criminal prosecution process in appropriate cases;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1           The following definitions apply in this Act.

"advisory council" means the Manitoba Restorative Justice Advisory Council established under section 6. (« Conseil consultatif »)

"department" means the department of government over which the minister presides. (« ministère »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)

Meaning of restorative justice

2(1)        For the purpose of this Act, restorative justice is an approach to addressing unlawful conduct outside the traditional criminal prosecution process that involves one or both of the following:

(a) providing an opportunity for the offender and the victim of the unlawful conduct or other community representatives to seek a resolution that repairs the harm caused by the unlawful conduct and allows the offender to make amends to the victim or the wider community;

(b) requiring the offender to obtain treatment or counselling to address underlying mental health conditions, addictions or other behavioural issues.

Timing

2(2)        Restorative justice programs may be utilized before or after a person is charged with an offence.

Restorative justice program outcomes

2(3)        When an offender participates in a restorative justice program, he or she may be required to take steps to repair the harm caused by his or her unlawful conduct or to prevent future unlawful conduct, such as

(a) apologizing to the victim or other affected members of the community;

(b) participating in mediation or reconciliation;

(c) paying restitution;

(d) engaging in community service work; or

(e) participating in counselling, education or treatment programs.

Purpose

3           The purpose of this Act is to support the development and use of restorative justice programs in Manitoba.

Authorized alternative programs

4           The department may — on its own or in collaboration with other government departments or community organizations — develop restorative justice programs that can be authorized for use under

(a) section 717 of the Criminal Code (Canada); or

(b) section 10 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada).

Policies re use of restorative justice programs

5(1)        The department must develop policies respecting the use of restorative justice programs.

Requests for restorative justice programs

5(2)        The policies must address the circumstances under and process by which a victim or offender may request that a matter be dealt with using a restorative justice program.

Advisory council established

6(1)        The Manitoba Restorative Justice Advisory Council is hereby established.

Members

6(2)        The advisory council consists of

(a) the Deputy Minister of Justice or a senior member of the department designated by the Deputy Minister, who is to serve as chair of the advisory council;

(b) the Assistant Deputy Attorney General or a senior member of the Manitoba Prosecution Service designated by the Deputy Minister of Justice;

(c) the deputy ministers of departments specified by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, or their respective designates;

(d) the Director of Victim Services under The Victims' Bill of Rights; and

(e) at least five but no more than nine persons appointed by the minister who have

(i) recognized expertise in the study of restorative justice,

(ii) experience in delivering restorative justice programs, or

(iii) experience in providing social services or delivering counselling or treatment programs.

Term

6(3)        A person appointed to the advisory council under clause (2)(e) may be appointed for a term not exceeding three years.

Appointment continues

6(4)        After the term of a person appointed to the advisory council under clause (2)(e) expires, the person continues to hold office until he or she is re-appointed, the appointment is revoked or a successor is appointed.

Role of advisory council

7(1)        The advisory council is to provide advice and recommendations to the minister and the department on

(a) the design and content of restorative justice programs;

(b) the most effective means of implementing and delivering restorative justice programs;

(c) the monitoring of the effectiveness of restorative justice programs; and

(d) policies under subsection 5(1) respecting restorative justice programs.

Studies at request of minister

7(2)        The minister may direct the advisory council to conduct a study on a specific issue relating to restorative justice.

Report to minister

7(3)        When the advisory council conducts a study at the request of the minister, it must provide the minister with a report setting out its findings and any recommendations it may have on the issue.

C.C.S.M. c. V55 amended

8(1)        The Victims' Bill of Rights is amended by this section.

8(2)        Clause 4(a) is amended

(a) by adding "or restorative justice programs" after "pre-charge alternative measures"; and

(b) by striking out "if alternative measures" and substituting "if the use of alternative measures or restorative justice programs".

8(3)        Clause 12(a) is amended by adding "or restorative justice programs" after "alternative measures".

8(4)        Clause 14(1)(b) is amended by adding "or restorative justice programs" after "alternative measures".

C.C.S.M. reference

9           This Act may be referred to as chapter R119.6 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

10          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

Restorative justice is an alternative approach to addressing unlawful conduct outside the traditional criminal prosecution process. It enables offenders and victims of unlawful conduct or other community representatives to find a resolution that promotes healing, reparation and re-integration into the community. An offender in a restorative justice program must take responsibility for his or her actions and must attempt to repair the harm caused by those actions in a variety of ways, such as by apologizing, paying restitution, performing community service work or completing a counselling or treatment program.

This Bill promotes the development and use of restorative justice programs in Manitoba. It requires the Department of Justice to develop policies respecting the use of restorative justice programs. It establishes an advisory council that includes people with expertise in the study of restorative justice as well as those with experience in delivering restorative justice programs, counselling or treatment programs or other social services. The advisory council will provide advice to the government on the design and implementation of restorative justice programs.

The Bill makes related amendments to The Victims' Bill of Rights.