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In , the Parliament of Canada passed the Safe Streets and Communities Act , [3] which changed a number of elements regarding the criminal justice system. The Act replaced the term "pardon" with "record suspension", [4] and the pardon system was similarly changed. Federal agencies cannot give out information about the conviction without approval from the Minister of Public Safety Canada. A pardon does not, however, erase the fact that an individual was convicted of a crime.

The criminal record is not erased, but it is kept separate and apart from other non-pardoned criminal records. A pardon removes disqualifications caused by a criminal conviction, such as the ability to contract with the federal government, or eligibility for Canadian citizenship. If an individual in receipt of a pardon is convicted of a new offence, the information may lead to a reactivation of the criminal record for which the pardon was received in CPIC.

A pardon does not guarantee entry or visa privileges to another country. Before travelling to another country, individuals must still contact the authorities of the country in question to find out what the requirements are to enter that country. Processing of pardons by the Parole Board of Canada generally takes six months for a summary offence and 12 months for an indictable offence. If the Parole Board proposes to deny the application, it can take 24 months to process.

Non-Canadian citizens are not eligible for a Canadian pardon unless they were convicted of a crime in Canada. To be eligible for a pardon or record suspension, individuals must have completed all of their sentences and a waiting period. Individuals are considered to have completed all of their sentences if they have: Served all sentences of imprisonment , conditional sentences , including parole or statutory release Completed their probation order Prior to , following completion of all of their sentences, individuals must have completed a waiting period, as follows: Applications are also made to the National Parole Board, as in pardons, but clemency may involve the commutation of a sentence, or the remission of all or part of the sentence, a respite from the sentence for a medical condition or a relief from a prohibition e.

A pardon "only grants the remission or the commutation of the sentence; it does not remove the condition of having been condemned". The pardon may be either general, when it is granted to all those covered by a specific law passed by qualified quorum in National Congress , or particular, when it is granted by Supreme Decree of the President of the Republic.

He or she is not obliged to seek opinion or approval from other authorities, although, the granting of pardons is limited by the norms of Law No.

It is a prerogative of the President which is directly inherited from that of the Kings of France. The convicted person sends a request for pardon to the President of the Republic.

If granted, the decree of pardon is signed by the President, the Prime Minister , the Minister of Justice, and possibly other ministers involved in the consideration of the case. It is not published in the Journal Officiel. The decree may spare the applicant from serving the balance of his or her sentence, or commute the sentence to a lesser one. It does not suppress the right for the victim of the crime to obtain compensation for the damages it suffered, and does not erase the condemnation from the criminal record.

When the death penalty was in force in France, all capital sentences resulted in a presidential review for a possible clemency. Executions were carried out if and only if the President rejected clemency, by signing a document on which it was written: The Parliament of France , on occasions, grants amnesty. Germany[ edit ] Similar to the United States, the right to grant pardon in Germany is divided between the federal and the state level.

Federal jurisdiction in matters of criminal law is mostly restricted to appeals against decisions of state courts. Only "political" crimes like treason or terrorism are tried on behalf of the federal government by the highest state courts. Accordingly, the category of persons eligible for a federal pardon is rather narrow. The right to grant a federal pardon lies in the office of the President of Germany , but he or she can transfer this power to other persons, such as the chancellor or the minister of justice.

In early , there was a widespread public discussion about the granting of pardons in Germany after convicted Red Army Faction terrorist Christian Klar , who was serving six consecutive sentences of life imprisonment, filed a petition for pardon. For all other and therefore the vast majority of convicts, pardons are in the jurisdiction of the states.

In some states it is granted by the respective cabinet, but in most states the state constitution vests the authority in the state prime minister. As on the federal level, the authority may be transferred. Amnesty can be granted only by federal law. Hong Kong[ edit ] Prior to the Transfer of the sovereignty in , the power of pardon was a royal prerogative of mercy of the monarch of the United Kingdom.

This was used and cited the most often in cases of inmates who had been given the death penalty: Since the Transfer, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong now exercises the power to grant pardons and commute penalties under section 12 of article 48 Basic Law of Hong Kong.

India[ edit ] Under the Constitution of India Article 72 , the President of India can grant a pardon or reduce the sentence of a convicted person, particularly in cases involving capital punishment. A similar and parallel power vests in the Governors of each State under Article The Constitution of India vests sovereign power in the President and governors.

The governance in the Centre and states is carried out in the name of President and Governor respectively. A President is empowered with the power to pardon under Article 72 of the Indian Constitution. Article 72 says that the President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence.

The meaning of these terms is as follows: There are five different types of pardoning which are mandated by law. The pardoned criminal will be like a normal citizen. The Article 72 reads: Similarly, as per article Governor of a State has the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.

Please note that President can grant pardon to a person awarded death sentence. But Governor of State does not enjoy this power. The question is whether this power to grant pardon is absolute or this power of pardon shall be exercised by the President on the advice of Council of Ministers. The pardoning power of President is NOT absolute. It is governed by the advice of the Council of Ministers. This has not been discussed by the Constitution but is the practical truth.

Further, the Constitution does not provide for any mechanism to question the legality of decisions of President or governors exercising mercy jurisdiction.

But the SC in Epuru Sudhakar case has given a small window for judicial review of the pardon powers of President and governors for the purpose of ruling out any arbitrariness. The court has earlier held that court has retained the power of judicial review even on a matter which has been vested by the Constitution solely in the Executive.

However, it is important to note that India has a unitary legal system and there is no separate body of state law. All crimes are crimes against the Union of India. Constitutional basis[ edit ] The Irish constitution states in Article The power of clemency is nominally exercised by the president. However, the President of Ireland must act "on the advice" of the Government cabinet , so in practice the clemency decisions are made by the government of the day and the president has no discretion in the matter.

The responsibility can also be delegated to people or bodies other than the president. Amnesty and immunity, on the other hand, are usually dealt with by an Act of the Oireachtas rather than by a general form of pardon or a slate of individual pardons. There are two methods by which a pardon may proceed: Method I[ edit ] In the first procedure, aimed at miscarriages of justice, the Minister for Justice may recommend to the Government that they formally advise the President to grant a pardon, and any conditions along with it.

Under this procedure, the person must: Have already been convicted. Have used up their appeals. Allege a new fact previously known and believed to be significant, but which he has a reasonable excuse for not having mentioned or newly discovered fact including a fact previously known which was not believed to be significant showing a miscarriage of justice has taken place. Then they can apply in writing to the Minister for Justice for a pardon. It also allows the minister to waive the procedure in a case of miscarriage of justice if the specific case warrants it.

It may also allow prospective pardons as it allows the minister to pardon someone who has not been convicted yet, which the other procedure requires.

Committee of Inquiry[ edit ] The government itself may assemble a committee to study the case in more detail on their behalf. This may consist of anyone, and any number, but the chair must be: A judge or former judge or A Barrister of at least 10 years standing or A solicitor of at least 10 years standing. This special committee may look to any material it sees fit to make its decision, even if it was not, or would not be, available to a jury or trial judge in a normal court.

The government do not have to be bound by the committee recommendations. Pardons under Military Law[ edit ] Under Section 7 5 of the act, the same powers of the Minister for Justice apply to the Minister for Defense in the case of military officers and enlisted convicted by courts martial. Compensation[ edit ] The Minister for Justice or Defense may also, in their absolute discretion, pay compensation, determined by them alone, to any person given a pardon, if this compensation is applied for.

If they think the compensation is too low they may challenge for a higher figure in the High Court. List of people who have received a Presidential Pardon since The power is used very infrequently compared to, for example, pardons in the United States.

The pardon is given following a recommendation by the Minister of Justice. After the Kav affair , President Chaim Herzog issued a pardon to four members of the Shin Bet prior to them being indicted. This unusual act was the first of its kind in Israel.

Italy[ edit ] In Italy , the President of the Republic may "grant pardons, or commute punishments" according to article 87 of the Italian Constitution. Like other acts of the president, the pardon requires the countersignature of the competent government minister. The Constitutional Court of Italy has ruled that the Minister of Justice is obliged to sign acts of pardon. Unless the decree of pardon states otherwise, the pardon does not remove any incidental effects of a criminal conviction, such as a mention in a certificate of conduct c.

According to article 79 of the Italian Constitution the Parliament may grant amnesty article c. The last general pardon, discounting 3 years from sentences, was approved in


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