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The Lawyer's Daily


Toronto’s Aboriginal Legal Services (ALS) has launched a Charter challenge to a mandatory minimum sentence for a First Nations woman who pleaded guilty to importing cocaine, arguing the sentence violates protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

Program director Jonathan Rudin said ALS is in the process of arguing two Charter challenges — one, that the provision of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act calling for a mandatory minimum sentence of two years violates s. 12 of the Charter, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, and two, a corresponding restriction on conditional sentences violates the Charter’s s. 15 guarantees of equality rights because it has a disproportionate effect on Indigenous offenders.