From Sweeney to Smith: Sentencing for Impaired Driving Causing Death or Bodily Harm in the BC Court of Appeal (Part 1)
The law of sentencing in British Columbia has been guided by the rulings of the British Columbia Court of Appeal since the court was first given jurisdiction to hear sentence appeals in 1921. For most of the next half-century, the court's jurisdiction was used sparingly. Sentencing was left to the discretion of the sentencing judge, and appellate review was rare.
Starting in the mid-70s, the British Columbia Court of Appeal became more active in attempting to articulate the principles and objectives that ought to guide sentencing judges. Generally speaking, the tension was between the traditional model of sentencing based on deterrence, denunciation and retribution, and the newer ethic of rehabilitation that stood in contrast to it.