The author of a Macdonald-Laurier Institute paper on the federal government’s victim surcharge has been quoted in a story in Postmedia papers.


Gannon Beaulne, who co-authored a paper on the subject of the surcharge with fellow lawyer Lincoln Caylor, discussed whether or not the surcharge is likely to be struck down by the Supreme Court.

Beaulne says he doesn’t believe the surcharge will meet the test of being “grossly disproportionate” that would be required for it to be struck down.

“Can we really say with a straight face that, other than in really extreme, unusual circumstances, that a $100 fine that, frankly, the Crown can do little or nothing to collect, is grossly disproportionate to any criminal offence?” asks Beaulne.

“If so, it’s hard to see how there is any objective content to the test. It’s just untrammelled judicial discretion masquerading as a reasonable side constraint on Parliament.”

Caylor and Beaulne also authored an op-ed on mandatory minimum sentences and the victim surcharge that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen.

MLI would not exist without the support of its donors. Please consider making a small contribution today.