Department of Justice

Understanding the Court Process

Community Impact Statements

The Canadian Victim Bill of Rights came in to force on July 23, 2015, providing for Criminal Code amendments, including a new sub-section which allows for a statement to be submitted to the Court on a community’s behalf, known as a Community Impact Statement (section 722.2).

A community impact statement provides a description of the harm or loss suffered by a community as the result of the commission of an offence. The statement must include a description of the impact of the offence on the community and an explanation of how the statement reflects the views of the community.

A community impact statement is used at sentencing, after the accused has pleaded guilty or been found guilty. A community impact statement is not used to help determine if the accused is guilty or innocent.

A statement is prepared in writing and submitted to the court. These statements can be read out in court and the information provided in the statement may be reported by the media.

Who may do a Community Impact Statement?

Anyone from a community that has been harmed by an offence who has knowledge of the harm caused to the community can initiate a community impact statement, or a community can choose someone to prepare the community impact statement on behalf of the community. However, the individual who is submitting the statement must articulate to the court (within the statement) how the contents reflect the views of the community they are representing and the process they have used to gather community input.

How to prepare a Community Impact Statement

A community impact statement should be written in your own words.

  • Describe how the crime affected your community.
  • Do not include a description of the crime or how it occurred. Focus on how the crime impacted your community.
  • Limit the CIS to the matter currently being sentenced.  Information about other incidents will be excluded from the CIS.
  • Avoid comments about the accused or about the sentence you think they deserve.
  • If a question on the form doesn't apply to you, or if you don't want to answer it, you don't have to fill it out.

If you have questions, you can contact Victim Services for more information.

The form

You can download a Community Impact Statement Form and either complete the fillable PDF or print it out to fill in by hand. You can also get forms from Victim Services.
Completed forms can be returned to Victim Services or directly to Court Services.

Community Impact Statement - Microsoft Word

Community Impact Statement - Fillable PDF