R v Gamble, 2019 SKQB 327

The accused’s application for a state-funded Gladue Report is dismissed.

Indigenous Law Centre – CaseWatch Blog

 The accused was found guilty for aggravated assault and unlawful confinement of a victim. The victim was waylaid and taken into a house where he was beaten and tortured. He was branded and his finger was cut off.

The sentencing of the accused has been delayed numerous times. The ongoing issue is how best to put required Gladue information (R v Gladue, 2 CNLR 252) before the Court for sentencing purposes. The accused wants a full Gladue Report filed, but has no resources for it. He wants the state to pay for this report. Court Services opposes such an order. The position taken is that there is sufficient information through a series of pre-sentence reports [“PSR”] already filed. Further, it is argued there are other means of putting that information before the Court.

At present there are no national standards and there is no national regulator. No formal accreditation is required to do a Gladue Report, as none exists. Section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code and R v Gladue and R v Ipeelee, [2012] 2 CNLR 218, require that “Gladue information” be considered by any sentencing judge when dealing with an Indigenous offender. There can be no doubt that modern sentencing requires such a consideration. While s 718.2(e) is silent on how the Court may obtain this required information, for the purposes of sentencing, obtainment of this information is a must.

The defence argued that the information in the PSRs was inadequate. It is unclear by whose standards this would be the case. A major flaw in the accused’s argument was that there are absolutely no standards, nationally or even provincially, for the preparation of Gladue Reports or the type of information a court needs, and that requirement is highly fact-dependant. What is required in one case may not be required in another.

There is no basis in the evidence before the Court or in the law that the Gladue information must come to the court in the form of a report. Even if this Court granted the order sought by this offender, an author would not be identified or an amount for fees be decided for such a report. That is subject to negotiations between a potential author and Court Services. To make an order that is so directive to the executive branch of government is to overstep within the judicial branch. The granting of the relief sought herein is exceptional, rare, and done in response to specific and exceptional circumstances where a PSR does not provide the appropriate information and there is no other way to obtain that information and present it to the court. That is not the case here.

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