S.M. 1986-87, c. 28
The Justice for Victims of Crime Act
(Assented to September 10, 1986)
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
It is hereby declared that among the principles that should guide society as a whole in providing justice for victims of crime are those set out in this Part.
When the laws of society are offended, victims suffer consequences and have needs and concerns that deserve consideration separate and apart from the interest of society as a whole.
The hardships created by an offence against the laws of society should be shared by society as a whole, and victims should be assisted in addressing their particular needs and concerns.
When a person offends the laws of society that person shows a disregard for persons who may be harmed by unlawful acts and that person owes a debt to society generally, and to victims, whether or not the offence has affected a specific, identified victim.
Victims of, or witnesses to, a crime should report the crime and co-operate with law enforcement authorities by providing information and attending court as required.
Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, corrections officers, health and social service personnel, and the media should treat victims with courtesy, compassion and dignity and with a respect for their privacy.
It is recognized that victims should have access to social, legal, medical and mental health services that are responsive to their needs and that dependants, guardians and spouses of victims may have needs similar to those of victims.
Law enforcement, court, health and social services personnel, at the earliest practical opportunity, should inform victims of the services and remedies available to them and their responsibilities.
Information should be made available to a victim about
(a) the scope, nature, timing, and progress of the prosecution of the offence in which he or she was the victim;
(b) the role of the victim and of other persons involved in the prosecution of the offence;
(c) court procedures; and
(d) crime prevention.
Where appropriate, victims should be encouraged to participate in mediation, conciliation and informal reconciliation procedures to resolve disputes and determine financial or other redress.
Where stolen property is recovered, it should be returned to the victim as soon as possible.
Before making decisions in any matter that is before them, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors and judges, should consider the particular needs and concerns of the victim, including
(a) the need to receive fair restitution for the offence; and
(b) the need for prompt disposition of prosecutions and prompt execution of judgments, orders and decisions granting restitution, compensation or other redress.
In this Act
"committee" means the "Victims Assistance Committee"; ("Comité")
"fund" means the "Victims Assistance Fund"; ("Caisse") and
"judge" includes a justice of the peace, a magistrate and a provincial judge; ("juge")
"minister" means the member of the Executive Council charged by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the administration of this Act. ("ministre")
VICTIMS ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE
There is hereby established a committee to be known as: "The Victims Assistance Committee".
The committee shall be guided by and shall promote the principles set out in this Act.
The committee may receive from any person, organization or institution applications and submissions relating to
(a) the needs and concerns of victims; and
(b) the provision and funding of research and services relating to victims.
The committee shall work with prosecutors and with law enforcement agencies, courts, social agencies and other organizations able to serve victims in order to assist them in developing guidelines that promote the principles set out in this Act and that relate to their activities.
The committee shall make recommendations to the minister on the use of the fund and may make recommendations relating to
(a) the development of policies respecting victims services; and
(b) any other matter within the scope of the principles set out in this Act that the minister refers to the committee for its recommendation.
The committee shall promote research into and the distribution of information about victims services, needs and concerns.
The committee shall review the operation, development and cost of victims services and research projects for which money from the fund is being received or sought.
The committee may require an applicant for funding or a recipient of funding under section 15 to submit to the committee such reports, contracts, or documents related to the application or receipt as the committee considers advisable.
The committee shall, within 4 months after the end of every fiscal year of the government, make a report to the minister on the activities of the committee for that fiscal year.
The minister shall lay a copy of the report of the committee before the Legislative Assembly forthwith after receiving the report or, if the Legislative Assembly is not then in session, within 15 days after the commencement of the next session.
The committee shall be comprised of not less than 7 and not more than 15 members to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
The committee shall include at least two victims of crime and shall include representation from law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, the judiciary and members of the Law Society of Manitoba who are not employed by the government and who have experience as defence counsel.
Each member shall be appointed to the committee for a term of not more than 3 years.
Where the term of a member expires, the member shall continue to serve until a successor is appointed.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall designate one of the members as chairperson of the committee.
A member of the committee who is associated with an applicant for funding under section 15 shall disclose that association and thereafter may vote on any question relating to the proposed recommendation by the committee unless the member has a direct pecuniary interest in the grant. VICTIMS ASSISTANCE FUND
There is hereby established a fund to be known as: "The Victims Assistance Fund".
Subject to subsection (4) and any other Act of the Legislature, where a person is convicted of an offence under an Act of the Legislature or a regulation under such an Act, a surcharge shall be conclusively deemed to have been imposed against the person and shall be collected in the same manner as a fine, and where a fine has been imposed the surcharge shall be collected with the fine.
The surcharge imposed under subsection (1) shall be an amount determined by multiplying the amount of the fine by a percentage prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council but the percentage so prescribed shall not exceed 20%.
No surcharge shall be imposed in respect of any parking offence.
Where a person receives a reprimand or is convicted of an offence but no fine is imposed in respect of the offence, the surcharge under subsection (1) shall be $25.
Where the judge, having regard to the circumstances, including the degree of financial hardship a surcharge would impose on a person, determines that a surcharge or the amount of a surcharge is inappropriate, the judge may reduce or waive the surcharge.
Money from any person or source made payable to the fund shall be credited to the fund and money received that is subject to trust conditions shall be disbursed pursuant to those conditions.
Subject to any trust conditions under which money is received into the fund, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may authorize expenditures from the fund for
(a) promotion and delivery of victims services;
(b) research into victims services, needs and concerns;
(c) distribution of information respecting victims services, needs and concerns;
(d) remuneration of members of the committee for their services and for reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred on behalf of the committee; and
(e) any other purpose the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary for carrying out the purposes and promoting the principles set out in this Act.
The fund shall not be used to provide direct compensation to individual victims.
Any application for a grant from the fund shall be submitted to the committee for a recommendation as to whether the grant should be made.
The fund shall be under the control and supervision of the Minister of Finance and shall be held in trust for the purposes of this Act in a separate account in the Consolidated Fund.
The Minister of Finance may make payments from the fund in accordance with any authorization granted under section 15.
If at any time the balance to the credit of the fund or the amount received subject to trust conditions is in excess of the amount that is required for the immediate purposes of this Act or the trust conditions, the Minister of Finance may invest the excess and any income therefrom shall be credited to the fund.
Money that is received for or otherwise credited to the fund shall be deposited with the Minister of Finance for the account of the fund.
The fiscal year of the fund shall be the 12 month period ending on March 31 in any year.
This Act does not create any civil cause of action, right to damages or any right of appeal on behalf of any person.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) prescribing anything required by this Act to be prescribed; and
(b) generally for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
The Act may be referred to as chapter J40 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.
This Act comes into force on a day fixed by proclamation.