Source: (1997) LL.M. thesis, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Downloaded 28 February 2005.

As its title implies, the subject of this thesis is extremely broad. In order to address the criticisms that have been levelled against the Canadian criminal justice system in recent years, much of its focus is on the sentencing process. However, its main theme is the need for a holistic approach to justice reform, as opposed to the reactionary, piecemeal approach of the past. This approach, combined with the vast area covered, has resulted in the author relying extensively on the findings of other studies and reports, particularly in relation to the constitutional issues arising from some of the recommendations contained in Part V… In order to get an insight into crime prevention, a study in crime causation is included, with comparisons to national statistics. The affects the current system has on victims and the affect of the media on the system are also examined, and classes of offenders are identified for the purpose of developing appropriate sanctions. A twofold approach to dealing with offenders is proposed - one short-term, and the other long-tem. Offenders who are a risk to public safety should be subject to a just deserts, limited retributivism regime of sanctions, while restorative justice principles and practices should be applied to those who are non-violent, and those from different cultural backgrounds. In the long-term, however, the emphasis should be on crime prevention by attacking its root causes. This approach will require the application of the principles of social responsibility and the involvement of all segments of society working in partnership. The thesis concludes with recommendations for a new court structure and operational framework, alternative sanctions, and suggestions for ways in which different public and private agencies may approach the very difficult problem of crime causation. Author's abstract.


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