What does Gladue mean?

3. Understand how Gladue works at bail hearings

Ontario courts have said that Gladue principles also apply to bail hearings. This means that courts must look at all types of releases. Detention, or holding an accused without , is a last resort.

Ask your lawyer or if there is an Indigenous court worker at your courthouse. An Indigenous court worker can help you to make a release plan.

The purpose of the release plan is to outline the community resources that are available to you while you're on bail waiting for your , and to give details about where you will be living. For example, the plan might suggest Indigenous supports for mental health, trauma, addictions, or homelessness. It might also include suggestions for participation in cultural activities.

Your lawyer or duty counsel can use your release plan to negotiate with the Crown. With a good release plan, the Crown might agree to release you without a .

If the Crown won't agree to your release, you will have a bail instead. Your lawyer or duty counsel can present your release plan at your bail hearing to try to convince the court to release you.

A bail hearing is not a trial. The court doesn't decide whether you're guilty or innocent. Instead, it decides if you should be released from into the community while your case is in criminal court.

You might be released on your own, with the supervision of a Bail Program, or with the supervision of a surety. The court must consider the least strict release first. This is sometimes called the “ladder of release”.

You usually don't have to deposit any money to get bail.

It's important to tell your lawyer or duty counsel if you self-identify as Indigenous. With your permission, your lawyer must tell the court about your Indigenous identity. Your background information is sometimes called Gladue factors. Your lawyer must also make arguments, called Gladue submissions, based on how the Gladue principles apply to your case.

Sharing information about your personal background might make you feel uncomfortable. But sharing this information can help the court to understand why the release plan you're presenting is the best plan for your situation. You can tell your lawyer what you're comfortable sharing.

For example, if you're homeless because you left an abusive situation, that information can help the court to understand why you don't have a .

Bail conditions

Bail conditions are rules that you must follow while you're out on bail waiting for your trial.

For example, you might not be allowed to go within a certain distance of a specific place, person, or persons. Or you might have to stay at home during specific hours, usually overnight. Your bail conditions might ask that you follow the suggested referrals in your release plan, if you have one.

If you don’t follow your bail conditions, you can be charged with breaching your bail. This is a criminal . If you're charged with breaching your bail, you will be held in custody for another bail hearing. It will be more difficult for you to get bail a second time.

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