First Nations Justice in Canada

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Law

Document 1

Different values held by members of the community must be taken into account and the community must assist in developing the initiative for the other option of justice initiative to be effective. Statement of Position First Nations people in Canada have been over-represented in the Canadian legal structure linking it to racism, injustice and colonialism. Over-representation has also shown the conflict between values and beliefs between the First Nations and the present Canadian legal Structure. First Nations Justice often takes lawbreakers as good people who are in need of guidance or need healing. The community is then required to consider what circumstances led to the crime being committed and come up with ways to prevent such crimes being committed in future (Ross 1992).

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This recognized that First Nations ways of life are not static but are bound to change with time. In both cases above, they support First Nations governments, social and legal systems. Many of the First Nations Justice are not new systems that were developed in line with the values of the First Nations people but are old systems that are emerging to be recognized (Borrow 2001). By restoring traditional justice, First Nations are confirming that they are determined to turn around the effects of colonialism on their communities (Rudin 2003). One of the means of doing so is by unlocking the aboriginal Justice Program that was set in place by Wet'suwet'en in Columbia. Another argument is the fact that restorative justice is very easy to implement and maintain in communities that are willing to take part in justice initiative.

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They can follow what other communities have done making the implementation easier rather than working out a new system by itself. Restorative justice is also easy to administer keeping in mind that if the communities can use comparable systems with similar requirements, the requirements of funding can be re-determined. Arguments for standardized system calls for everyone to receive equal treatment are not applicable in real life. This is because every community is unique and every case is unique and therefore they can never be similar. The decision that is reached in a sentencing circle is not binding but it acts as a recommendation. The judges, however, consider these recommendations while sentencing the case (Spiteri 2001). The state supports these models because they can be controlled from the outside.

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They have been criticized because they may differ from some communities' values since they are extracted from outside and they may not reflect the particular beliefs of a community. While the sentencing circles ensure community involvement, they are limited since the structure of the system is similar. Conclusion It should be noted that majority of the First Nations people have started incorporating values of the European community about justice. First Nations values and cultures are bound to change while many first nations' people appreciate their tradition and their way of life has currently coped with the changing situations like contact with other peoples' ways of life. This, however, does not imply that there is a tradition that is better than another.

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