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Top Five 2004: R v Hamilton

Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.

R v Hamilton (2004), 72 OR (3d) 1 (CA)

Two Jamaican women pled guilty to drug smuggling.  In court, the judge entered a conditional sentence, which was lighter than usual for the type of crime. In this case, the Court of Appeal explained the principles of sentencing, and explained when factors such as poverty and racism could be considered in sentencing of convicted individuals. The Court wrote, “A sentencing proceeding is also not the forum in which to right perceived societal wrongs, allocate responsibility for criminal conduct as between the offender and society, or “make up” for perceived social injustices” [para. 2].   The full decision is available here.


Date Produced: 2004

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