Source: (2000) Canadian Journal of Criminology 42 (July): 355-388.

In R. v. Gladue, the Canadian Supreme Court interpreted the Criminal Code’s requirement that judges consider alternative sentencing in light of the particular circumstances of aboriginal offenders. In this decision the court also recognized the congruence between restorative justice and aboriginal justice. This paper examines the judicial and political effects of this decision. Judicially, for various reasons it seems unlikely that sentencing innovations derived from this decision will significantly reduce aboriginal overrepresentation in the Canadian prison system. Politically, the original section of the Criminal Code was controversial when enacted by Parliament. Following this decision, it continues to be controversial as it seen by some as a discount on sentencing based on race. The authors detail these judicial and political factors.