No movement on scrapping surcharge

No movement on scrapping surcharge

The federal government says it has not taken further steps to give judges the discretion to waive the mandatory victim surcharge, despite announcing its intention to do so 14 months ago, because of a lack of time available in Parliament.

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Periods of 12 to 18 months or even longer to pay the charges are not uncommon, says Michael Spratt, a defence lawyer and partner at Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP in Ottawa.

“The justice system seeks to level itself when there is an imbalance. I wish those who make up criminal justice policies would actually spend more time in courts,” Spratt says.

The mandatory surcharges can create “absurdities,” he suggests, such as in a recent Ottawa case where an individual was classified as a dangerous offender with an indeterminate prison sentence and the judge was also required to impose a $100 penalty for a breach of a court order.

Read the full article: Law Times