Ottawa, ON (Unceded Algonquin Anishnaabeg Territory): The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is disappointed by the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision today in C.P. v. Her Majesty the Queen. The Court determined that the Youth Criminal Justice Act does not violate the Charter by denying young people an automatic right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in criminal cases.
The BCCLA intervened in this case to argue that the Youth Criminal Justice Act violates the Charter rights of young people because it is procedurally unfair, arbitrary, and overbroad. While adults have an automatic right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in some criminal cases, this law requires young people to always seek the Court’s to permission appeal. This ruling puts some of the most vulnerable members of our society, young people, at risk of being wrongfully convicted.
Jessica Magonet, Staff Counsel for the BCCLA, states: “We are very disappointed by this ruling. The right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in criminal cases provides a final layer of protection against one of the worst wrongs the justice system can inflict: a wrongful conviction. We disagree with the Court’s determination that a speedy legal process is more important than ensuring that young people in the criminal justice system are granted adequate procedural protections. The Youth Criminal Justice Act and this ruling fail to appropriately account for the unique vulnerability of youth and the serious consequences of a finding of guilt for a young person.”
The BCCLA was represented by Alison M. Latimer of Alison M. Latimer, Barrister & Solicitor and Jessica Magonet of the BCCLA.
- Jessica Magonet, counsel for the BCCLA, available for comment in English or French at [email protected]