Third Age Learning - York Region   



Does the Punishment fit the Crime? How Judges Sentence Offenders in Canada

  • November 05, 2018
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Aurora Cultural Centre



Justice Phil Downes

Justice Phil Downes was called to the Ontario Bar in 1998. Until 2006 he was counsel at the Crown Law Office – Criminal, where he argued appeals on behalf of the Crown and prosecuted and provided advice to the police on large-scale white collar prosecutions.  In 2006, he moved to private practice with a law firm and in 2008, he became a sole practitioner focused in the areas of criminal and quasi-criminal law, as well as regulatory and professional discipline matters.  Justice Downes was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in November 2011. He presides exclusivel over criminal matters at the Metro East court in Toronto.

Justice Downes lectures and teaches frequently to judges, lawyers and police officers on a variety of criminal law issues. He is the co-author of two publications, “The Law of Traffic Offences” and “The Criminal Lawyers’ Guide to Disclosure and Production,” as well as several published articles on criminal law and procedure and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 


Does the Punishment fit the Crime? How Judges Sentence Offenders in Canada

Using examples from real-life scenarios, Justice Downes will discuss the practical realities of how criminal offenders are sentenced in Canada. How do judges decide on what is a “fit” sentence? What is the role of luck in the sentencing outcome? Are sentences decided “by the book” or are they subject to the individual discretion of each judge? In the final analysis, is the sentencing regime in Canada fair to all involved?

Audience members will be challenged to think about what sentence they would impose in certain situations, and what justifications or principles they would rely on to decide on the appropriate sentence.

 This event is part of the Fall 2018 Speaker series.

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