The Liberal government is paving the way for much-anticipated Criminal Records Act (CRA) reform by unveiling public feedback supportive of rolling back Conservative-era changes that make it slower, costlier and harder for law-abiding offenders to get their criminal records removed from the database of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).

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Spratt successfully challenged in Ontario a 2012 amendment to the CRA that retroactively doubled the time a person convicted of an indictable offence must wait to apply for a record suspension.

Halfway through their mandate, the Liberals have been too slow in bringing forward necessary reforms, Spratt argued. “It’s encouraging that general members of the public recognize the benefits of pardons and the positive impact that they have on individuals’ lives and community safety,” he observed. “The results certainly speak to the public’s appetite for reform. But this survey was not required for the government to take principled action. … The empirical evidence from criminologists, from experts who work in the field, and from criminal lawyers has been clear for decades that pardons are a net benefit. …We know that 97 per cent of people who are granted pardons never reoffend.”

Read the full article: Lawyers’ Daily

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