Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Issue 2 - Evidence for November 24, 1999

OTTAWA, Wednesday, November 24, 1999

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, to which was referred Bill C-7, to amend the Criminal Records Act and to amend another Act in consequence, met this day at 4:30 p.m. to give consideration to the bill.

Senator Lorna Milne (Chairman) in the Chair.


The Chairman: Honourable senators, I see a quorum. I call this meeting to order.

We have a direction from the Senate to enter into the proceedings of this particular session of the committee all of the evidence that was presented before this committee in the last session. Is it agreed, honourable senators, that we do so?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: From the Department of the Solicitor General, we have before us Ms Mary Campbell and Mr. Richard Zubrycki. I understand that they will be giving us a fairly brief presentation because we have been over this ground before.

Please proceed.

Mr. Richard Zubrycki, Director General, Corrections Directorate, Corrections and Aboriginal Policing Branch, Solicitor General Canada: Honourable senators, we will be as brief as we can. I appreciate that you have covered this ground before, but there are some new members of the committee. We will try to provide a quick summary of the purpose of the bill and its major features.

Bill C-7 will amend the Criminal Records Act. The central feature of those amendments will make a narrow exception to the protections that are conferred by a pardon under the Criminal Records Act. This will be only for the purpose of screening child sex offenders from positions of trust that they may apply for or be found in.

I will say a few words about the Criminal Records Act itself and then speak about the national screening system.

The Criminal Records Act was enacted in 1970 after a recommendation by the Ouimet Committee which was reviewing correctional practices and law in Canada. The purpose of the Criminal Records Act is to remove, after a period of demonstrated crime-free behaviour and good conduct, the stigma and any disqualification that a conviction for a criminal offence might result in. The act was revised fairly extensively in 1992.

Under the act, pardons can be issued for summary conviction offences after a waiting period of three years; essentially, that is all the evidence of good conduct that is required. For indictable offences, pardons can be granted after five years of crime-free behaviour and demonstration of good conduct as established by inquiries with police and in any place of residence of that individual during the past five years.

A pardon removes an individual's criminal history from the criminal history record system, usually referred to as CPIC, the Canadian Police Information Centre, maintained by the RCMP. CPIC is generally considered the official criminal record repository in the country. All police forces use it and they are all connected to it. They all share in its governance and in the inputting of information.

When a pardon is granted, that record is removed from that system and placed in a sealed database. It is not destroyed, but it is no longer accessible except with the authority of the Solicitor General. Applications can be made for purposes that are specified in the Criminal Records Act, usually for purposes of national security or else for the administration of justice. It is up to the Solicitor General to decide whether or not a record may be disclosed.

That act has been exceptionally effective. Over the past 28 years, close to 250,000 pardons have been granted. During that same period of time, a few more than 6,000 or 2.6 per cent of pardons have been revoked for the commission of a new offence. New offences committed by pardoned recipients are very rare indeed.

Under Bill C-7, the sealing of those records or the disclosure of those records will be loosened somewhat in the case of sex offenders who are being screened for positions of trust.

In 1994, the federal government introduced the national screening system. Under the national screening system, it is possible for bona fide requesters, organizations or individuals to ask, with the consent of the applicant and usually via the applicant, for disclosure of the criminal history to review when they are considering placing a person as either a volunteer or an employee in a position of trust with children or other vulnerable clients. That system has been in place since 1994.

More recently, in 1997-98, a workgroup of federal, provincial and territorial officials looked again at issues related to the protection of children and made a number of recommendations which federal, provincial and territorial ministers adopted. That workgroup noted that there is a gap in the screening system resulting from pardons being granted: If a bona fide organization requests a criminal history record of an individual and a search is made on the CPIC system, no record for that person will be found if a pardon has been granted. Those are very rare cases.

Our best estimate, based on a sample of cases, is that in those 28 years, only 114 sex offenders who have received pardons have committed a sexual offence. However, I am sure that everyone will agree that one is too many.

The Solicitor General agreed today that he would consider and refer to cabinet proposals to plug that gap, and that is what Bill C-7 sets out to do. Under Bill C-7, a flag, or a notation as it is referred to in the bill, will be left on the CPIC system, so that when an organization requests a record search, rather than finding nothing on the CPIC system, the police officer doing the search will recognize that there is a sealed pardon record in existence. The notation will not indicate what that record is for, nor provide access to that record; it will simply provide information that there is a record. An application to unseal the record can then be made to the Solicitor General. That will always be done with the consent of the offender or ex-offender. That person will have to consent in the first place to a search of the system to see if there is a flag and then will have to consent, again, if there is a request for that record and if the Solicitor General is asked to unseal it.

The simple fact that the Solicitor General will ultimately maintain the discretion of whether or not to disclose those records also provides a safeguard. I would expect that in every case where there is clearly a sex offence, particularly a sex offence against children, but including other forms of sexual offence as well, those files almost certainly would be disclosed. However, there may be exceptional cases where it would be inappropriate. There is some safeguard there. It is not automatic, not a simple administrative process. There is a review process connected to it.

There are other sources for the proposals that are contained in Bill C-7. In just a moment I will ask my colleague, Mary Campbell, to review the elements of the bill. I would just add that I believe you are well aware of the fact that I said that the proposals that are contained in Bill C-7 had unanimous support from federal, provincial and territorial ministers. The bill also received unanimous support in the House of Commons. Overall, it is a very well supported bill.

When we came before this committee previously, certain weaknesses were noted, and we have tried our best to respond and to provide proposals to amend, with our minister's agreement. Therefore, from our point of view we are ready to proceed and to provide whatever further assistance we can. With that, I will ask Ms Campbell to speak to the basic elements.

Ms Mary Campbell, Director, Corrections Policy Division, Corrections Directorate, Corrections and Aboriginal Policing Branch, Solicitor General of Canada: Honourable senators, the essence of the bill, the flagging system, has been covered, and Mr. Zubrycki has noted some of the procedural safeguards that are in the bill: the offender's consent being required at two stages and the fact that there is still ministerial discretion about whether or not to disclose the record. The factors that the minister will use in making that decision are also included in the regulations to the bill. A requirement in the bill is that the information disclosed, that is, the unsealed record that is provided to an organization, is to be used only for that specific purpose. The organization is not permitted to use the information for any other purpose.

There are a few other, smaller amendments in the bill. Most notable is the requirement that where a pardon application is denied, the applicant must wait one year before applying again.

The definition of "pardon" has been clarified. The act currently refers to "vacating the conviction." That is rather ambiguous and the wording is clarified to describe what actually happens, which is that the record will be kept separate and apart.

There are smaller amendments regarding the ability of an applicant who may be denied a pardon to make submissions, and those submissions would normally be in writing. Revocation of a pardon currently is automatic upon conviction of a new indictable offence, and this would be expanded to include most hybrid offences. Those are some of the companion amendments in the bill.

I will turn briefly to the proposed amendments of the bill that result from the identification in the previous committee session of some of the weaknesses. There are four proposed motions, some of which have subsets. Briefly, there are three main changes to consider.

First, the definition of children and vulnerable persons has been moved from the regulations to the bill. I would note that following the session of the previous committee in September there was concern about the use of the term "handicap." The one change that has been made since September is that the reference to "handicapped" has been deleted. Therefore, it moves the definition into the act and takes care of concerns about wording that was perceived to be inappropriate or out of date.

Second, the motions would propose to add the word "sexual" to the description of the offences that would be flagged in order to make it quite clear that the only offences that would be flagged are sexual ones. That reference appears in the flagging section and in the section that authorizes amendments to the schedule. It refers to the power to add or delete sexual offences.

Third, the proposed amendment moves that schedule of sexual offences from the regulations to the bill and deletes the regulation-making authority that appears in Bill C-7 in relation to the definitions and the schedules. Those two elements will now be in the bill.There is no need for regulation-making authority.

I would conclude on that and welcome your questions.

Senator Cools: How many applications does the parole board receive annually? Of those, how many receive positive recommendations and how many are denied?

Mr. Zubrycki: Without saying the exact numbers -- although we certainly can provide them, and obviously it fluctuates from year to year -- each year the parole board receives something in the order of 10,000 to 15,000 applications. Very few are denied. The rate of denial is a few per cent a year. The vast majority of them are granted. One reason for that, we believe -- although it is difficult to prove -- is that this is a self-selected group of applicants; if individuals feels they do not have a good chance of getting approved, they probably either do not apply or withdraw during the process.

Senator Cools: I understand. Do you have any idea how many of the 10,000 are refused? Would it be 10 applications or 1,000 applications? You say very few. Is that 10 per cent or .001 per cent?

Mr. Zubrycki: It could possibly be 1 per cent.

Senator Cools: What are the reasons for those refusals?

Mr. Zubrycki: There would be a variety of reasons, but in most cases I believe there would be some evidence of failure to maintain good conduct. There might be a charge pending or there might be a police report indicating that this person is under active investigation for some serious offence. It would be something that is demonstrably an indication of poor behaviour or not good conduct.

Senator Cools: For those 10,000 to 15,000 applications per year, how much time does a parole board member give to the review of each case?

Mr. Zubrycki: I am sorry, I cannot answer that, although we could provide that answer for you. Every case is reviewed individually on its merits. Nothing is fully automatic. However, the indictable offences receive the most careful attention.

Senator Cools: If a parole member is sitting down for a day of reviewing pardons, how many will he or she review in a day? I am trying to figure out the number of minutes per application.

Mr. Zubrycki: I do not have that information and I do not think there is anyone here from the parole board who could assist us.

Senator Cools: Does each application get an hour of a member's time, or 10 minutes?

Mr. Zubrycki: There is a process. First of all, the applicant must provide a significant amount of information about their record, their activities and that sort of thing. Parole board staff prepare that file and if there is information missing, or if there is anything ambiguous, they will contact the local police and get more information. That information is assembled in the first place. That is not the board member's direct attention but that is attention in terms of preparing the case.

When the board member reviews it, it is a one-person review. I cannot say how much time board members spend. Due to the volume, I do not believe it could be an extremely long period of time, but if they had any questions or concerns they would send the file back to staff and ask for more information.

Senator Cools: There was a body of opinion at some point in time that recommended that these pardons could be given automatically to people who had offended but who had spent a period of years without re-offending. I am sure you have read the literature. There was a period of time in the history of the parole board when many arguments were being made that you could save the taxpayer a significant amount of money by moving, if you can legislate such a thing, to a semi-automatic granting system for inmates or ex-inmates who have been crime-free for so many years. According to the Constitution, that would be quite difficult to achieve since these are not grants themselves. These are recommendations to the executive for grants. I am curious about how that thought developed.

It seems to me all those recommendations were turning on the fact that the parole board actually gave it significant time. In point of fact, it was the inmate whose own situation compelled the grant or the lack of grant. I am curious about the debate. In that period of time, the debate was quite active.

Mr. Zubrycki: At a time prior to 1992 when the act was revised, all these recommendations were reviewed by a special committee of cabinet. Sometimes, because of various delays and backlogs, the special committee would need to deal with as many as 20,000 files per year. That was arguably very cursory attention.

In 1992 it was decided to differentiate between summary and indictable offences. Summary offences, arguably the least serious offences, are not dealt with entirely automatically but almost automatically. The three-year, crime-free waiting period is the essential element there. In those cases, the pardon is simply issued. That is why we use the two different terms. It is more of an administrative process.

On the other hand, indictable offences are reviewed more carefully. Those pardons are granted by the board members. I cannot give you the exact amount of time spent, but even if it is not a great amount of time, it is still an individual, case-by-case consideration. Of course, as I said, the success rate is extremely high.

Senator Cools: Pardons seem to be valued and respected by those people who receive them. The notes that accompany some of the applications are quite profound. To that degree, it is a very valuable program.

The Chairman: I suggest that the subject matter of this bill is when granted pardons should be unsealed. Your topic is peripheral to that subject matter and our witnesses may not have boned up on that subject. Perhaps they can get their answers to your questions later.

Senator Buchanan: My question also is not in relation to the bill. I may be out of order but I will try it anyway.

I recently got an application for pardon for a constituent of mine. I helped him to fill it out and to get his record from the RCMP Criminal Records Division. One question bothered both him and me. His offence was not a great offence; it occurred about 25 years ago and he wants it off his record. There was a question asking who his employer was. The man would not send in the form because he was convinced that the parole board would contact his employer and the employer would be aware that he was once convicted of an offence. Is privacy respected in those applications? Why is that question even in the application?

Mr. Zubrycki: In the usual process in the past, the RCMP would do a field investigation. Often the officers had no choice but to speak to the employer, even though they did not like to do so. It was always a serious problem that by trying to expunge the record you were revealing it.

Today, the RCMP does not do the field investigations. Local police are asked to provide any local record, the CPIC record and any other knowledge about the individual. The local force knows the person and/or the community better, so the need to contact the employer is reduced. However, I cannot say to you that the employer would never be contacted. The local police could say that something is troubling them and the only way to get at it is to speak to the employer.

Senator Buchanan: Generally, if there is no problem with the local police -- and I understand there was none with this fellow -- the employer would not be contacted; is that correct?

Mr. Zubrycki: That is correct.

Senator Andreychuk: On the subject of consents in the draft regulation, will every job applicant be required to sign the disclosures? One's consent allows access to information found as a result of a criminal-record check for a sexual offence for which a pardon has been granted or issued. Will this be given to every person who applies for a job that demands a criminal-record check?

If so, who will have the responsibility to explain what that consent actually means? The Breathalyzer caused great problems for police officers who had to explain the consequences of taking or refusing that test. I foresee a similar, parallel problem here. Who will explain it? Will there be an argument put forward that a person did not really understand the consent when it was signed?

Mr. Zubrycki: The forms set out are models; the wording may be reproduced. In some cases, the agency or organization doing the screening will have the applicant sign the form. In other cases, applicants may go to the police station to obtain their records and the police will ask them to sign it. Everyone has some responsibility to understand and to explain but, ultimately, the police are the ones who must confirm that consent has been received and that a record is disclosed based on that consent. The buck stops with them in terms of explaining the effect of the consent.

Senator Andreychuk: I am confused. Did you say that in some cases the agency may request the signing of the consent?

Mr. Zubrycki: Yes.

Senator Andreychuk: The agency staff may not have the kind of training necessary to explain the intent and the consequences in a criminal sense and in a practical sense.

Mr. Zubrycki: We are dealing with a very diverse universe here. There are many agencies in many geographic locations. We have a partnership with Volunteer Canada. They engage in the training of volunteer agencies. They give public information about screening. I do not know how many training sessions have been done. In the first year of our partnership, they conducted 200 training sessions all across the country and the people who train other volunteers are trained. Efforts are certainly being made to provide information and training. Those efforts will continue. In the end, I am sure some will have a better grasp than others.

Ultimately, if the agency does not understand or explain it well, concern should be expressed to the police and the police should explain it.

Senator Andreychuk: What would be the consequences of someone's signing a consent based on an explanation that was incorrect? What is the recourse for people who are truly, perhaps innocently, misled?

Mr. Zubrycki: That depends on when they realize they were misled. They can withdraw their consent or withdraw from the process at any point in time. In most cases, the record is given to the individuals who can then produce it to the recruiting organizations. If there is anything of concern, people can explain their own record. If on obtaining their record they decide they do not want it disclosed, they can simply withdraw from the process. If they become concerned earlier than that, they can simply withdraw their consent and the police will not go any further with the search.

Ms Campbell: I would just add the fact that the legislation will now say that the organization cannot use the information or disclose it any further. It adds another protection. If individuals ultimately find out that the information was disclosed and they did not understand that that would happen, clearly they may be at some disadvantage in getting in a particular position, but at least they will know that the legislation specifically prohibits the organization from using the information or further circulating it.

The Chairman: On a point of clarification, will applicants fill out both forms at the same time or just the first form and then later, if needed, the second form?

Mr. Zubrycki: I think it could work either way. It will depend on local police practices. The system is designed so that specific consent will be needed for both procedures. Therefore, logically, you would do one first. If there were reason to go to the second step, then you would have the second consent given.

Senator Beaudoin: I agree entirely with the bill as amended. There is only one point I should like to check. We had a long discussion on children and vulnerable persons. I understand that is now right in the proposed legislation at clause 6. That being the case, I am ready to vote on this.

Senator Joyal: My question may have been asked previously. I apologize for being late. Nevertheless, I should like to put my question forward to our witnesses.

Can you tell us if you have statistical data showing that convicted persons would have been prevented from committing another crime if the disclosure of their past activities had been made to their employer or to the victim?

The principle I have in mind is the following. We have a principle of rehabilitation. Once the person has paid his or her debt to society, he or she is entitled to the protection of confidentiality. If we are breaking away from that principle, we should have very clear reasons and arguments for doing so. We can take many measures to protect society, measures in all ways, shapes and forms, and our prisons would not be large enough to keep everyone there.

In order to be totally at ease with the objective of this bill, which I do not question, I should like to know if you have a study that clearly shows that the measures included in the bill would have prevented someone from committing another crime or would protect better the persons we aim to protect with this legislation.

Mr. Zubrycki: I cannot say that we have very direct evidence of that. However, I can explain the thinking that went behind making these proposals.

I am just rounding off, but approximately 250,000 pardons have been granted in the last 28 years. From among those, 4,200 -- or a little over 4,000 -- have a sexual crime on the record. These are estimates because we could not count every file. Through sampling, we made an estimate that 114 of them would have committed a new sex offence. I do not think you can say that all 114 would have been prevented necessarily, but that is the scale. It is not very large numbers.

The thinking was that if a person with a history of sexual offences, particularly against children, applies for a position of trust to work with children, we can assume that the risk is much higher than it would otherwise be. Therefore, the proposals in the bill focus on those situations where a person has a record of sexual offences, has obtained a pardon, is applying for a position of trust and, because of the pardon, might not be recognized by the employer as having that sort of background. An employer might look at that person's background and explanation and say, "Fine, that is not relevant to this position," and hire the person. On the other hand, they might decline to hire the person through an abundance of caution.

This is not an exact science, but we have tried to limit the likely cases to a small number in these particularly high-risk situations and we have tried to provide safeguards so that individuals can protect themselves if they feel it would in some way harm their interests.

Senator Joyal: You said that approximately 4,200 persons have been found guilty of some sexual crime and that approximately 114 of those would be people breaking their pledge to society by recommitting the crime.

On what basis do you limit your objective only to sexual crime? Are there not other crimes that are as important as sexual crimes? Are we just more preoccupied by sexual crime because it is sex? What principles of morality are we aiming at here? I do not want to draw a parallel, but from my religious history I remember that there was only one sin: the sin of the flesh. If that mentality must be reflected in our legislation, we should be very clear about it.

I want to be sure that I understand the reasoning behind the fact that we have identified this type of crime and left out of others that we feel are less important. In other words, other crimes can be committed against a person by someone who is naturally violent or has a natural predisposition to be violent.

I understand the objective. However, if it is stated only in terms of sex, I want to know exactly your philosophy behind that. If we start doing that with sex, then we can come late with another aspect and say, "Oh, this is as important," and reopen the legislation to add that crime. I know that this is a broad question, Madam Chair, but I would be happy if our witnesses could enlighten us.

Senator Cools: I was of the understanding that originally the bill had a wider definition of offences and that it was this committee's wish that it be limited to sexual offences. It seems to me that it is not for these people to answer that question. It seems to me that the answer is here among the committee members who seem to think that the offences should be limited to sexual ones. I am quite happy to be wrong, but that is my understanding.

The Chairman: Senator Cools, this bill came before us without any definition of offences whatsoever. This committee, in the previous session, said that there should be a listing of offences in the bill. However, it was always quite clear that it was sexual offences against children.

Senator Cools: That is what I am saying.

The Chairman: It was always quite clear that those offences would be addressed in the bill, but the actual definition of the offences was left to the Governor in Council.

Senator Cools: Was it all the offences?

The Chairman: All sexual offences against children and vulnerable persons.

Senator Cools: If it is "all sexual offences against children," why do we need an amendment to say that it was sexual offences?

The Chairman: Because it was not in the bill before and we wanted to be absolutely certain that it was in the bill rather than left to the regulations.

Please carry on, Mr. Zubrycki.

Mr. Zubrycki: I must spring to the chairman's defence because we originally told this committee that it said that in the act, and it did not. I stood corrected and we made the adjustment. However, it was our intention to focus primarily on sexual offences. The reason, in particular, is pedophiles. It is very difficult, just from looking at criminal history records, or records of conviction, to determine exactly the nature of the offence. We had to look more broadly at sexual offences. A person might be charged with assault rather than a sexual offence against a child, but if it were sexual assault we felt that that would be relevant.

Pedophiles are known to be very insidious and deceptive, to plan and to spend a lot of time trying to orchestrate their offences. For that reason, we felt that we had to look at a selection of offences that could potentially hide a pedophile who is intentionally seeking a position of trust. Keep in mind the national screening system that is in place. If a person does not have a pardon, then the organization could obtain the record of any offence. If they are screening a case for work as a volunteer and they ask for the record of that individual, they get that record whether it is break and enter or petty theft or fraud or sexual offences or whatever. They get the whole record to look at and they can decide whether or not it is relevant to that position.

In this narrow band of cases -- that is, sex offences and, in particular pedophiles -- the fact that a pardon exists could prevent them from obtaining that record. Our consideration was not moralistic, but I cannot say that those who express concern were not part of it. A great deal of concern was expressed at federal-provincial ministers' meetings about this area, and there were calls to do something and calls for a national sex offender registry and other kinds of proposals.

The officials who looked at that major question said, "We do not need these massive Draconian kinds of measures but there is a gap here that should be plugged." This was the measure that was proposed.

Ms Campbell: There is, of course, a comprehensive screening program. Volunteer Canada has been instrumental in promoting that. The screening program talks about looking at the applicants broadly -- that is, not only focusing on a criminal record but also doing a background check, employment check, reference check and so on. They would certainly be alert to any kind of criminal history that the applicant might have, whether armed robbery, impaired driving or whatever. They might well consider that kind of criminal background to be relevant to the position and would have some discussion with the applicant.

Since the Criminal Records Act was created in 1970, there has been a provision to authorize the disclosure of sealed pardoned records. This bill does not do anything new in that sense. It adds an additional element to that process, but it is important to bear in mind that there is an ability now to inquire into other offences persons might have committed or other activities they engaged in that were not criminal activities but might still be of concern.

Finally, to continue with Mr. Zubrycki's point, it is the concern about the particular, predatory nature of some sex offenders that was behind the thinking for the bill; for example, armed robbers might not engage in predatory behaviour by trying to become volunteers for Scouts Canada. The concerns are different. Therefore, the amendment focuses on people with a sexual offending background who may want to join Scouts Canada for a very particular malevolent purpose. This system would allow for greater transparency about their background.

The Chairman: It was pointed out before you got here, Senator Joyal, that there is a two-stage process by which the person who is applying for the job can back off and refuse to give permission for this to become open to the public.

Senator Fraser: I wanted to address some of the issues that have just been addressed relating to the focus and the purpose of the bill. This seemed to be the least damaging form of action to protect the vulnerable.

I wish to add the observation that although abuses do not happen often, they do happen. Last night's news reported a case in Hudson, Quebec, where a man with a sexually related criminal record got himself a permit to run a daycare centre and has now been charged with the sexual abuse of two four-year-old children. I do not think he had been pardoned. The system fell apart before it got that far. However, it is a reminder to us that, although these cases are very rare, they deal with the most vulnerable people among us.

Senator Cools: Do we have copies of the regulations?

The Chairman: The draft regulations were in front of everyone today.

Senator Cools: Do we also have copies before the committee of the total regulations?

The Chairman: These are it.

Senator Cools: All right. I believe I am still following along with Senator Joyal's thinking. Clause 6.3(1) of the bill states: determine whether there is a record of an individual's conviction for an offence listed in the regulations in respect of which a pardon has been granted or issued.

According to what you are saying, only sexual offences are listed in the regulations. The intent was always to get at sexual offences, it is just that committee members have been attempting to ensure that the bill does not go beyond what we were told it was intended to do; that is, we do not wish to see, as we expect might happen, a host of other offences starting to be listed in the regulations. We do not want the regulations to spring off in another direction. That is my understanding.

The Chairman: Precisely.

Senator Cools: Therefore, the current list of sexual offences is contained in these draft regulations. It is quite extensive. There are about a dozen of them.

Mr. Zubrycki: There are about 30 of them.

Senator Cools: About 30 different kinds of sexual offences have been identified.

Mr. Zubrycki: Yes.

Senator Cools: I can live with that. That just limits the use of regulations to the offences the government asked us to consider.

The Chairman: That is correct, Senator Cools.

Senator Cools: I can support that, then.

The Chairman: I will point out, too, to committee members that there is human rights legislation as a recourse for people who feel that they have been discriminated against on the basis of a pardoned conviction. They can certainly apply to the courts under that legislation. Again, there is a third level of protection.

If there are no further questions, I wish to thank the witnesses for appearing before us.

The committee adjourned.

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