Strategy 6
Track 1

Systematic Implementation of Gladue Standards Across BC

Illustration from Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun

Implementing a comprehensive Gladue Strategy to ensure Gladue Principles are consistently applied throughout the criminal justice system.

The Challenge

Gladue Principles, or Gladue Rights, address the ways the criminal justice system has failed Indigenous people. Judges must consider the unique circumstances and experiences which may have played a part in bringing an Indigenous person in contact with the law. Gladue Principles apply to every First Nations, Inuit, and Métis person in Canada, regardless of where they live. 

Gladue Principles arose from a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision in a case called R. v. Gladue. The Supreme Court of Canada found that colonialism creates unique challenges for Indigenous people that results in higher incarcerations rates. Gladue Factors are the systemic or background factors related to these challenges and the harmful impacts of past and ongoing colonialism. Gladue Factors can include racism, loss of language, removal from land, intergenerational trauma resulting from the 60s Scoop and Indian residential and day school attendance, and the disruption of family and community connections. Information about an Indigenous person’s background, including Gladue Factors, is presented in a comprehensive Gladue Report to support judges’ application of Gladue Principles in their decision-making.

Gladue Principles ultimately represent an established approach by the Supreme Court of Canada to help reduce over-incarceration of Indigenous peoples and effect meaningful Track 1 reform of the existing justice system. However, there has been a lack of tangible and measurable results from this approach due to inconsistent, non-systematic applications of Gladue Principles and a need to transition Gladue Services in BC to an Indigenous entity.

The Solution

Implementing a comprehensive Gladue Strategy to promote the fair treatment of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system, BCFNJC will assume responsibility for the administration and management of Gladue Services across BC and establish a Gladue Service Department. The Gladue Service Department will be dedicated to advancing the systematic and thorough application of Gladue Principles, the timely delivery of high quality Gladue Reports, Gladue awareness and education programs, and improved Gladue writing and reporting processes.

Lines of Action

Establish a Gladue Implementation Agency
Status in-progress
Increasing capacity and numbers of Gladue writers
Status in-progress
More info 00Gladue Services Department (GSD) is in an ongoing process of moving to a staff model for increased report quality assurance and consistency.
Development of Gladue awareness and education programs
Status in-progress
Formalizing the Gladue reporting process
Status in-progress


Apr 2021
The BC First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC) assumed responsibility for the administration of Gladue Reports under Strategy 6.

Our primary objective is to enhance awareness and accessibility of Gladue reports for Indigenous individuals and the broader justice system. This involves implementing standardized methodologies to ensure the quality of reports.

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Summer 2022
The Gladue Services Department underwent a restructuring initiative, leading to the establishment and enactment of a Gladue Report triage policy.

Notably, this marks a significant milestone in Canada as it represents the first instance where Gladue Report Services have been administered and developed under Indigenous leadership.

Jan 2023
Transition began from a roster of 28 writers to 22, while staff writers increased from 5 to 11. Currently, there are 4 staff support workers.
Apr 2023
Victoria Criminal Justice Presentation
May 2023
CPD Sessions within 4 IJCS: Nanaimo, Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna
May 2023
National Judicial Institute: Gladue Report Writing Regime in British Columbia
Jun 2023
Gladue Services Department executed a mass hiring initiative for Gladue Writers and Support Workers, recruiting and onboarding 17 new staff members with the assistance of HR.
Sep 2023
BC Corrections: Presentation on Gladue Report Program and Support Worker Program in British Columbia.
Oct 2023
NCCA: Youth Gladue Reports: Bundle D (Indigenous Women's Justice Plan, Youth and Education) and Bundle C (Gladue Services) cross collaboration to clarify Gladue Report wait times and Gladue Service requests.
Feb/Mar 2024
UVIC Presentation to student lawyers: Gladue Process from Information Gathering to Writing the report. (Five 1.5-hour sessions)
Feb 2024
Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) to discuss ways to best implement their funding to focus on Gladue Awareness and Education.
Mar 2024
Gladue Services Department is actively hiring to further transition to a staff model, aiming to recruit 4 additional staff writers, 4 support workers, 1 internal legal reviewer, and 1 roots worker, completing the transition towards increased report quality assurance and consistency.
Jul 4/5, 2024
GSD is working with The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia (CLE) to host a 2-day Educational Event for lawyers and partners within the Justice system.