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Drawn from a case in which the Supreme Court of Canada grappled with the signal societal trauma wrought by the operation of the criminal justice system — the travesty of Indigenous over-representation in Canadian prisons — the epigraph to this chapter points to the ethical heart of a distinctive and important development in Canadian sentencing law. It involves an approach that has already disrupted certain elements of contemporary sentencing practice, and it is one that, depending on how sentencing judges embrace it, may open up new futures in Canadian sentencing. This development is the emergence of individualized proportionality as the fundamental principle of sentencing in Canada.


Forthcoming in Julian V Roberts and David Cole, eds, Making Sense of Sentencing (2d) (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020).

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