Court’s approval of remediation agreement yields guidance but raises questions

Remediation agreement yields guidance but raises questions

A remediation agreement sanctioned by Quebec Superior Court, the second in Canada, sheds new guidance and fleshes out principles applicable to the unique regime but also raises concerns over the opaqueness of the process and the relatively hands-off approach by the court, according to legal experts.

The “important” decision, the first one involving the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), reaffirms that courts must follow a deferential approach towards the terms of the agreement; rejected contentions that approval hearings should be in- camera; and held that in the absence of victim reparations — a “core value” of the regime — prosecutors must provide reasons why reparations are not appropriate.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc David also provides clarity over a victim’s standing to intervene in the proceedings and approvals of settlements, holding that the remediation agreement framework is not designed to resolve private civil law liability issues as it recognizes only two participants in the process, the prosecutor and the accused organization.

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