BCCLA at Supreme Court to oppose unreasonable parole ineligibility periods

ON Thursday, March 24, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case of Attorney General of Quebec v. Bissonnette to determine whether the stacking of 25-year parole ineligibility periods violates the Charter.

The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) says it strongly opposes the stacking parole ineligibility periods. Stacking consecutive parole ineligibility periods to incarcerate individuals for 50, 75 or 100 years, without hope of release, is cruel and grossly disproportionate.

The BCCLA will submit that, in determining Charter compliance, the punishment cannot go beyond what is necessary for the achievement of valid social aims and that the punishment cannot be arbitrarily imposed. Allowing the consecutive stacking of parole ineligibility periods goes beyond what is necessary to safeguard the public and beyond what is needed to further the legitimate purposes of punishment. Such a sentence will always lack the fundamental moral value of rehabilitation and will often be impossible to carry out, as their length exceeds the natural human life span.

The BCCLA is represented by Danielle Robitaille and Carly Peddle of Henein Hutchison LLP.

The BCCLA’s factums are available here.