R v Gladue

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R v Gladue
Supreme Court of Canada
Hearing: April 23, 1999
Judgment: December 19, 1999
Full case name Jamie Tanis Gladue v Her Majesty The Queen
Citations [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688
Ruling Appeal dismissed
Court Membership
Chief Justice: Antonio Lamer
Puisne Justices: Claire L'Heureux-Dubé, Charles Gonthier, Beverley McLachlin, Frank Iacobucci, John C. Major, Michel Bastarache, Ian Binnie, Louise Arbour
Reasons given
Unanimous reasons by Cory[1] and Iacobucci JJ.

R v Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688 is a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision on the application of s. 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code.


On September 16, 1995, Jamie Tanis Gladue was drinking and celebrating her 19th birthday with some friends in Nanaimo, British Columbia. She suspected that the victim, her boyfriend, was having an affair with the offender's older sister, Tara. Gladue made specific threats that "he was going to get it." Following a confrontation, the victim uttered many insults at the offender, at which point the offender stabbed the victim in the chest. She was subsequently charged with second degree murder and ultimately convicted of manslaughter. At her sentencing hearing the judge took into account many aggravating factors including the fact that the offender was not afraid of the victim. The court also took into account several mitigating factors such as her youth, her status as a mother and the absence of any serious criminal history. She was sentenced to three years imprisonment. At her trial and at the Court of Appeal for British Columbia the court upheld the sentence, finding that s. 718.2(e) did not apply to off-reserve Aboriginals.

Reasons of the court[edit]

Justices Cory and Iacobucci held that the courts below erred in taking an overly narrow approach of s. 718.2(e). The purpose of this provision is to address the historical over-representation of Aboriginals in the criminal justice system. This applied to Aboriginals, regardless of place of residence or lifestyle. However, the court ultimately dismissed the appeal, finding that the sentence was fit given the seriousness of the offence.

Full text of the decision is available through CanLII, as are links to lower court decisions and to decisions considering the Supreme Court's decision in Gladue.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ retired between the hearing and the handing down of the decision