The supreme law of the country, defining how government is organized, how it will function and setting out individuals’ fundamental rights and freedoms.
A person who can translate and communicate information in real-time (live) during a court proceeding.
The coordination of services and programs for an accused or offender.
A formal objection to a jurors’ participation on a jury. The person making the challenge does not agree that a juror can participate in the trial.
The type of person someone is, including their personality, nature, traits, and ethics.
When a person has been formally accused of committing a crime by the laying of charges by Crown counsel.
The specific criminal offence(s) a person is accused of committing. If a person is charged, it means they have been formally accused by Crown counsel of committing a crime
The act of Crown counsel formally accusing a person of committing a crime (criminal offence).
When a person under 19 is abused or neglected and needs protection.
When a person is found guilty or pleads guilty, but the judge decides that, on successful completion of specified conditions, the person will not have a criminal record.
Conditional Release / Conditionally Released
When the offender is released into the community but must follow certain rules (conditions) for a set period of time.
A sentence served by the offender in the community. The offender remains in the community under supervision, and is required to follow certain rules (conditions).
Conditionally means to allow as long as certain rules and promises are obeyed.
Terms or rules a person must follow if they are released into the community by a court or at any stage of the criminal process.
A facilitated meeting to discuss the case specific issues concerning the youth, such as sentencing or restorative justice. This may be facilitated by a youth probation officer, a member of the police or someone else depending on where in the criminal justice process it occurs.
To have trust that information shared in a private conversation will not be communicated to others, but will be kept secret or private.
Both or all people agree (consent).
To agree to something.
Pleading guilty or not guilty using a form called a Consent Arraignment instead of before a judge. This option is only available in Victoria and the Western Communities but not for youth matters.
Contempt of Court
Serious disrespect for the court or an order of the court. Being in contempt of court is an offence that can result in a fine or jail sentence.
Things illegally brought in or out of a provincial correctional centre (jail) or federal correctional centre (penitentiary).
Convict / Convicted / Conviction(s) / Convicting
When the criminal charges against an accused are proven beyond a reasonable doubt at the trial and the judge or jury finds the accused person guilty of committing a crime and the accused is not discharged.
Jail or penitentiary. A provincial correctional centre (jail) is for offenders whose sentences are for less than two years. A federal correctional centre (penitentiary) is for offenders whose sentences are for two years or more.
Helps the judge inside the court room. Some of the responsibilities include recording the court proceedings, marking and recording the list of exhibits and swearing in witnesses.
The activities that go on in the courtroom as part of a criminal case.
A person’s believability. A person with credibility is someone who is honest and reliable as a witness.
A crime is an act that breaks a law that relates to how to behave in society. The harm caused by the act is seen to be against society as a whole, not just a specific person.
The specific criminal offence(s) a person is accused of committing. If a person is charged, it means they have been formally accused of committing a crime by Crown counsel.
Criminal Code / Criminal Code of Canada
The federal law that applies across Canada and sets out criminal offences, sentences and how a criminal case proceeds.
The law that deals with how the state responds to crime.
An act that breaks a law that relates to how to behave in society. The harm caused by the act is seen to be against society as a whole, not just a specific person. Sometimes it refers to the specific law that was broken.
Information about a person’s contact or involvement with the criminal justice system, starting with the involvement of the police through to sentencing and release from custody. Records are kept in central computer systems most police agencies across Canada can access.
Criminal Record Check
A request to police for information about a person’s criminal history. The person’s written consent is required for the check to be conducted.
The questioning of a witness by the lawyer on the other side of the case. Cross-examination takes place after the lawyer who called the witness to testify has finished asking questions. Its purpose is to test the witness’ truthfulness and reliability. Questions can be leading, that is, suggest a certain answer.
Crown Counsel / Crown
Independent lawyers with the prosecution service. Crown counsel do not represent the government, police or victim of crime. Rather, they perform their function on behalf of the public. Crown counsel may also be referred to as Crown, Crown prosecutors or prosecutors.
An order establishing a specific time in the evening after which certain rules apply.
Custodial Sentence / Custody Sentence
A sentence given to an offender under which they are kept in custody. See custody in the glossary.
Custody / In Custody / Custodial
Being held by police or corrections workers in a police station, provincial correctional centre (for a sentence less than two years), federal correctional centre (for a sentence of two or more years), or youth custody centre (for youth).