Samara Secter is quoted in a Law Times article discussing mandatory minimum sentences in the context of human trafficking and sexual offences. Samara told Law Times that the growing trend of challenges to mandatory minimum sentences is about protecting judicial discretion, even when the offences charged are very serious:
“It is true that judges are declaring more and more mandatory minimums unconstitutional. This is because judicial discretion is important at the sentencing stage when judges are examining the exact nature of the conduct and the particular circumstances of the offender. The issue is not that judges do not take sexual offences against minors seriously – they unquestionably do.“
Samara also noted that a problem with mandatory minimums is that a “one size fits all” sentencing solution should not apply when the offences capture a very broad range of conduct.
In 2017 Samara successfully argued that the mandatory minimum sentences for two offences were unconstitutional under Section 12 of the Charter. The Ontario Court of Appeal later stayed the charges for delay reasons.