March 06, 2013 - 4:48 PM
Kamloops recently became one of three locations in the province to enact First Nations court.
As of Monday, the Ckucwentn First Nations Court joins those alike in New Westminster and North Vancouver with a unique healing approach for aboriginal offenders.
This court is reserved for those who self-identify as Aboriginal and are pleading guilty or have been found guilty in relation to a criminal offence.
Aboriginal peoples have special legal rights under the Criminal Code of Canada, referred to as Gladue rights which enables all aboriginal peoples, including status or non-status Indians, First Nations, Métis, Inuit and on and off-reserve people the ability to choose First Nations court.
Judges in this court are encouraged to take a restorative justice approach with a focus on healing.
All parties involved in the case including the offender, lawyers, the victim, community members, counsellors, and any other necessary people are encouraged to partake in a round-table discussion, each with the opportunity to speak. The judge will subsequently come up with a healing plan.
Offenders of First Nations court are asked to take responsibility for their actions, address underlying issues and return to court with updates on progress.
First Nations court in Kamloops will be held once a month.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013