ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is anything other than the courts. If you’re going to trial you’re no longer in the arena of ADR. Disputes can settle through negotiation and mediation, even after the matter is set down for trial. You could settle everything on the steps of the courthouse, and that would still be ADR, but once you’re in a trial it’s no longer ADR. ADR has a place not only in civil matters but also in criminal matters. Negotiating with the crown to establish a plan for suitable diversion keeps criminal charges from going to trial and avoids the risk of getting a criminal record. ADR involves using less confrontational approaches to settle disputes. It involves more co-operation and collaboration. ADR requires more creativity and flexibility. The process engages the participants in negotiating outcomes that can look a lot different from the official judgements delivered by the court. Mediation and arbitration are types of ADR. You can think of each one like a tool for resolving conflict. Whereas ADR is an entire toolkit. ADR involves mediation, arbitration, negotiating, and a host of other skills and knowledge. Using ADR in a criminal context requires working with community-based organizations in ways that enhance the accused person’s relationship to the community. Promoting healthy community relationships results in more restorative justice systems, Thereby creating more positive outcomes for everyone involved.
MINOR CRIMINAL LAW
There are a number of diversion programs offered by the crown. Each courthouse will have access to different resources. Sometimes the crown will recommend the Direct Accountability Program. Other times different arrangements can be made where the crown will withdraw the charges. Diversion is not always possible, and the decision about diversion is entirely up to the crown.
Diversion is increasingly being used to deal with criminal charges as the crown realizes that it is not always in the public interest to seek a conviction that will result in a criminal record. Diversion programs can involve treatment or counseling for anger and other issues. Community service can also be involved.
These programs add value to the community by requiring positive contributions from the offender. They are required to take responsibility for their actions, but they do so in a way that does not result in a criminal record. They may be required to attend counseling, to perform community service, to write a letter of apology, or make a personal apology. This all depends on the views of the crown, the subject of the offense, and other people connected to the case. Each case of diversion is different. The programs address the circumstances of each individual differently.
Ben Fulton takes an approach that engages with the various forms of diversion. If you are facing criminal charges this is the first thing to consider. Diversion is not always possible, but the benefits make it worth investigating.
WILLS & PROBATE
Notary public is a public office administered by the province of Ontario. As a Notary Public Ben Fulton is qualified to commission affidavits, and make certified true copies of documents. If you need something notarized bring it over, I have an embossing seal that meets all legal requirements.