Canadian Criminal Sentencing/Procedure/Overview of Sentencing

Guilty plea or ConvictionEdit

A sentencing hearing is to be commenced "as soon as practicable" after the point where a conviction has been entered.[1]

  1. Section 720(1)

Submissions of counselEdit

Both the Crown and Defence are permitted to make submissions to facts for consideration.[1] However, submissions themselves do not constitute evidence.[2]

  1. s. 723(1); R. v. Digiacomo, 2002 BCCA 444
  2. R. v. Jackman, [1996] N.J. No. 107 (NLCA) “cannot be over-emphasized that, in making submissions to Court, counsel are not giving evidence but rather making argument in support of their respective submissions.”

Accused addressing the CourtEdit

At the end of the submissions by counsel, the accused is entitled to make comments to the court.[1] Failure to allow the accused to speak will not invalidate the sentence if it is an inadvertent slip or error.[2]

  1. s. 726
  2. R. v. Senek (1998), 130 C.C.C. (3d) 473 (Man. C.A.)[1]
    R. v. Holub and Kufrin, [2002] O.J. No. 579 (Q.L.).
    R. v. Haug 2002 SKCA 49

Judgement on SentenceEdit

A judge, in deciding on a sentence, after hearing the recommendations from both Crown and Defence, may go above the range recommended by Crown counsel, but must do so after giving reasons for the sentence given.[1]

It is also recommended that the judge give counsel an opportunity to make further submissions.[2]

Upon deciding on a particular sentence the judge shall comply with s.570 and 806 requiring him to make a minute or memorandum of conviction and upon request, make a conviction order under Form 35 or 36. Further a warrant of committal, if applicable, will be made under Form 21 or 22.

  1. R. v. Jones, 2012 ONCA 609 (CanLII) at para. 10
  2. see R v Hood, 2011 ABCA 169 (CanLII) at para 15
    R v Keough, 2012 ABCA 14 (CanLII) at paras 19 to 20 and 51 to 57