By Christina Iannozzi, Western Law School

shutterstock_592290617Broad policy changes to the criminal justice system at all levels have positively impacted the number of domestic violence cases in which the system can intervene. Entry into the system is victim-initiated, and it has historically been under-used. To address these problems, one of the many changes to policy and practice over the past two decades has been the introduction of specialized criminal courts. There were three main goals in the creation of domestic violence courts (“DVCs”): (i) accelerate the court process; (ii) increase victim co-operation; and (iii) deliver appropriate sentences that are in the best interests of the victims.

Continue Reading An Introduction to Domestic Violence Courts

By Simon Pelsmakher, University of Windsor

shutterstock_318715832On January 6, 2017, a horrific shooting attack occurred at Ft. Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport, which left 5 people dead and 42 injured. Unfortunately, this incident was not a one-off event, and the US has been plagued with many such shooting attacks in recent years. As former President Obama has argued: legally, it is all too simple for these individuals to acquire the necessary weapons to carry out such attacks. The law should therefore be amended and reformed to address these challenges. Continue Reading Amending US Gun Laws – an Outsider’s Perspective

by Marc Motiejunas, Thompson Rivers University

shutterstock_521761819What is a victim fine surcharge? Well, upon being found guilty of a crime, the guilty party may be required pay a monetary fine to the court. The amount of the fine is $100 for each summary offence and $200 for each indictable offence.

This money goes towards provincial programs such as victim services and counseling programs. There is controversy in regards to the surcharge, however. Individuals convicted of crimes may be impoverished and while $100 for an offence may seem insignificant to some, this amount is often devastating to those in such a position. Continue Reading Victim Fine Surcharges