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The CCLA has been granted leave to intervene before the Supreme Court of Canada in I.M. v. R., on appeal from the Court of Appeal for Ontario. This appeal concerns the test for sentencing a young offender as an adult under s. 72 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (“YCJA”). The YCJA is based on young people’s heightened vulnerability, lesser maturity, and reduced capacity for moral judgment. The CCLA intends to argue that sentencing courts must explicitly articulate and consider two principles of fundamental justice to depart from the YCJA when sentencing a young person. First, young people are always entitled to a presumption of diminished moral blameworthiness, which the prosecution must rebut on a high standard to sentence a youth as an adult. Second, any factor which the prosecution relies on in support of an adult sentence must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, as is the case generally for aggravating factors in sentencing. Consideration of these principles will ensure robust protection of young people’s constitutional rights in the sentencing process.

The CCLA is grateful for the excellent pro bono representation of Samara Secter and Cori Goldberger of Addario Law Group in this case.

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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