Criminal Justice Process

The Canadian Criminal Justice System (CJS) is based on the old English common law tradition. One of the most important tenets of the Canadian CJS is that an individual charged with a criminal offence is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a Court of Law.

Victims of crime may interact with the Criminal Justice System if they report a crime to police, are called to testify at trial and/or present a victim impact statement in a criminal court.  In Canada, victims of crime are provided with supports and rights through various Federal and Provincial statutes or legislation.  This includes the right to information, the right to participation, the right to participation and the right to seek restitution.

Both Federal and Provincial governments also provide victims of crime with access to resources and supports as they navigate through the criminal justice system.  However, the system can be challenging and difficult to navigate for victims and their families. As a result, many of the supports in Canada focus on providing information, assistance and supports to victims as they participate in the criminal justice system through processes at the investigative, court, sentencing and correctional stages.

In 2015, the Federal government introduced the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights which outlines the roles and rights of all crime victims across Canada.  You can access more information regarding the Victims Bill of Rights via this link: