Five fundamental ways Harper has changed the justice system - 2014-05-06
Stephen Harper set out as Prime Minister in 2006 with the express goal of taking back the Criminal Code from the Liberal Party, and the toughening of crime laws has become a permanent and central feature of his agenda. But how fundamental have those changes been?
The Globe and Mail spoke to law professors, Crown attorneys, defence lawyers, criminologists and victims' advocates for an answer. The question comes at a time when the Conservative government is taking heat over justice issues, with the Auditor-General's report on prison overcrowding and the Prime Minister engaging in an unprecedented public battle with Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.
The consensus is that Mr. Harper has kept his promise: Love it or hate it, he has broken with some long-standing principles and made major changes to how criminals are punished.