I think the Justice system in Canada is one of the world’s most thriving and fair systems. For me, it is also exceptional in the way that it combines common law and civil law and operates in two languages – English and French. However, as in every justice system in the world, there is still room for improvement. In my opinion, the most acute problems that the Canadian justice system has yet to address are the injustices toward indigenous people and that women opt not to bring cases of sexual assault to the attention of police departments.
The Canadian legal system is built on the principles of presumption of innocence, equality before the law, and due process. Structural elements of the criminal justice system are legislation, courts, and law enforcement agencies. The House of Commons and the Senate create and enact legislation that gains the power of law upon approval by the mentioned agencies and by the Governor General of Canada (Government of Canada, 2011). Courts interpret the law and address disputes, consisting of the Supreme, the Federal, and provincial courts. Finally, law enforcement agencies consist of provincial, municipal, and federal police with a specific division regarding Ontario and Quebec.
Although the Canadian justice system is well-structured, it still faces challenges. One of the main issues of concern is the status of indigenous people, who are in more danger of becoming a part of criminal cases. Although they make up a little more than four percent of Canadian people, they occupy one-third of the prison population (Government of Canada, 2021). To address this issue, the government of Canada has been actively implementing strategies to achieve reconciliation and justice for indigenous people.
Another concern is that women are highly reluctant to report cases of sexual assault. According to the numbers, only five percent of sexual abuse incidents reached the police agency, whereas this percentage is much higher (30-50%) for other types of crime. These statistics reveal decreased levels of trust towards law enforcement departments. The official website of the Canadian government suggests that this problem should be addressed by employing the restorative justice approach, which is an alternative, more humane way to address injustices.
I think that the Canadian government is transparent, honest, and effective when it comes to the system of justice. I can acknowledge its shortcomings and is not reluctant to implement new, alternative ways of addressing problems.
Government of Canada. (2011). Legislation. Web.
Government of Canada. (2012). The Justice System. Web.
Government of Canada. (2021). Why we are transforming the criminal justice system – Canada’s System of Justice. Web.