Supreme Court limits Tory bill that scrapped early parole

Statue on the steps of the Supreme Court of Canada Oct. 10, 2013. (Tony Caldwell/QMI Agency)

Statue on the steps of the Supreme Court of Canada Oct. 10, 2013. (Tony Caldwell/QMI Agency)

Daniel Proussalidis, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 1:13 PM ET

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court has clawed back the Conservative government's effort to eliminate early parole.

In an 8-0 decision, the court ruled the Abolition of Early Parole Act (AEPA) cannot apply to criminals sentenced before the bill came into force on March 28, 2011.

Justice Richard Wagner, appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, says the retroactive application of the bill violates the constitutional rights of the three criminals who first took the case to court.

"It retrospectively imposed a delay in day parole eligibility in relation to offences for which they had already been tried and punished," Wagner wrote in the decision. "The effect — extended incarceration — was automatic and without regard to individual circumstances."

Arms trafficker John Whaling, 44, cocaine trafficker Cesar Maidana, 59, and fraudster Judith Lynn Slobbe, 66, brought the case forward and won twice in B.C. courts before the feds appealed to the highest court in Canada.


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