a legally binding promise a witness makes to tell the truth with a religious wording (Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god)
qualified victim
a person who qualifies as a victim under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to have the same right as a victim to information and involvement in the corrections and parole process; it can be anybody who has reported to the police that he or she was victimized by the offender – there need not have been a conviction, or even a prosecution, but the person must have suffered ‘physical or emotional damage’ by the offender (for recidivist offenders, victims from past terms of incarceration can be qualified victims)
forcing sexual intercourse upon someone against their will and without their consent; the definition of sexual assault includes the act of rape, this is no longer used in the Canadian Criminal Code because it has been replaced by several different levels of Sexual Assault in order to include more offences and be more specific.
rape shield
commonly refers to the restrictions placed upon the admissibility of evidence about a sexual assault victim’s sexual history
stages of legislative approval required for the passage of Bills
a temporary adjournment (delay) during a trial or hearing that can last from minutes to days
committing another criminal offence after being caught and punished for a previous offence
an offender who, after having been convicted of an offence, commits another offence
a procedure in which an accused is released to await their trial, and instead of bail, makes a promise to come back to court when their trial begins
questions from the lawyer who conducted the examination-in-chief relating to points raised in the cross-examination
when a victim organization suggests and provides names of other known victim services that may provide additional or specialized services
a correctional institution operated by the provincial government to house inmates serving less than two years; also referred to as a prison
regina versus
‘Regina’ means Queen in Latin. Because the Queen is Canada’s head of state, her name is used to represent the community in any criminal trial. So a criminal case name should read “Regina versus (Last Name of Defendant)”
a principle of sentencing that acts to protect society by identifying and treating the underlying causes of an individual’s behaviour to prevent future offending
release date
the date upon which an offender will be released from prison
release plan
a plan organized by inmates seeking parole, regarding their destination after release, where they are going to live and what, if any, job they hope to get
to send a prisoner back into custody, during the trial, until another time
remand center
where accused individuals are held at the courthouse before trial and during breaks
see “early remission
remission of sentence
erasing all, or part of, a sentence imposed by the court
reserve judgment
a judge (or judges) hearing a case may decide to take some time to do research, study the law or review the evidence presented at trial before making a decision
resolution discussions
a plea bargaining discussion where the crown will discuss possible plea bargains with the defence counsel or the defendant.
the court-ordered payment by the offender to the victim to compensate for loss of or damage to property
restorative justice
approaches to sentencing in which the focus is on healing the victims of the crime and the communities in which it occurred while encouraging offenders to confront the consequences of their actions and to accept responsibility
restraining order
an order from a court that restricts an individual in order to protect another individual. This is usually used to protect the victim from the offender in a case where retaliation is reasonable to suspect and where the victim is being threatened or the crime is continuing. These are difficult to achieve in Canada in most cases because the person who files for a restraining order must be able to prove that the other person is a danger to them in a court room. This means that hearsay is not admissible and the other person has the right to appear at the hearing and defend themselves by making a case that they are not a danger to the victim or other party – another option is to obtain a peace bond which is much easier and in some ways very similar (see “peace bond”)
a principle of sentencing that acts to match the punishment with the harm done by the crime
reverse onus
a situation in which the accused must defend against an allegation or prove a case in his or her favour; in most matters, the onus is on the Crown to make the case. Exceptions to this rule would be if the dense attempts to us a legal defence of “not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder”
cancellation, or removing rights
risk assessment
a common form of classification which identifies similar groups of offenders and assigns them to certain interventions and treatment (for when they are in prison and when they are on conditional release) depending on the danger they present. All of the various instruments used to assess risk provide guidelines for separating offenders into low, medium and high risk levels
risk factors
factors (such as child abuse, unemployment, a criminal record) that are thought to place children, youth and adults at risk of engaging in criminal activity
relapse prevention
a common treatment for sex offenders or people suffering from addictions which attempts to train them in how to avoid situations that place them at risk for repeating the act and how to resist the impulse to commit the act again.
the trauma victims can experience in their dealings with the criminal justice system, such as insensitive treatment, not being believed, harsh cross-examination, and not being notified of key decisions. This can also include inappropriate treatment from doctors, nurses and others directed towards victims from any person or service provider
review board
a group that makes or reviews the dispositions of those found unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder
theft, along with threats or any act of violence
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
the national police force of Canada responsible for the enforcement of federal statutes and executive orders in each province and territory, and for providing services such as forensic laboratories, identification services, the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), and the Canadian Police College; the RCMP also has contract agreements with the territories and all provinces, except Ontario and Quebec, to enforce criminal, territorial and provincial laws
royal Commission
an inquiry into some special matter of public interest
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC)
provides policing to the largest municipalities in Newfoundland, and contracts with the RCMP for all other policing in the province
royal prerogative of mercy
a discretionary power based on the ancient right of the British monarch to grant mercy exercised by the Governor General relates to forms of clemency, granted in exceptional circumstances in deserving cases involving federal offences. The Governor General or the Governor in Council grants clemency upon recommendation from the Minister of Public Safety Canada or at least one other minister