Dalhousie Law Journal


Parole Board, Liability, Victims, legal position


What is the legal position of a victim of crime who is assaulted and severely injured by a person on parole release? The victim, of course, has a right to sue his or her assailant personally in tort for damages, but does the victim have a right to sue the prison and parole agencies for negligence in releasing or in supervising the offender? The victim's right to recovery against the authorities requires an examination of the right to damages in an action in negligence under the common law, as well as consideration of a possible remedy under the Charter of Rights.' Both a private law remedy in negligence and a possible public law remedy under the Charter require a preliminary examination of the purposes of the Parole Act 2 in conferring upon prison and parole officials powers of release and supervision of prisoners, and an understanding of the nature of parole decision-making and the procedures involved.