The National Justice Survey

The National Justice Survey is conducted annually to explore Canadian's perceptions of the justice system and how it can be improved.

National Justice Survey 2018

The 2018 National Justice Survey will be used to inform policy development, public engagement, and communications. Specifically, the study explores Canadians’ views and perceptions of:

  • The criminal justice system;
  • Sexual harassment in the work place;
  • Privacy and the management of personal information;
  • The Canadian Human Rights Act; and
  • Family law.

A full report is available at Library and Archives Canada:

National Justice Survey 2017: Issues in Canada's Criminal Justice System

In 2017, the Department of Justice contracted EKOS Research Associates to conduct research on Canadians' views and perceptions of the criminal justice system (CJS). The study was made of four components: two surveys, a series of focus groups and interviews conducted with Canadians across the country. Summaries of the results broken down by subject are available as Research at a Glance publications and Infographics. The final reports and data tables are available on the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) site. The databases for these surveys will be made available on the Open Government Portal in Summer 2018.

A full report is available in HTML at Library and Archives.

Short summaries of the results of the study are now available as the following Research at a Glance publications:

  1. Community-based sentencing
  2. Administration of Justice Offences
  3. Discretion in sentencing
  4. Diversion
  5. Mandatory Minimum Penalties
  6. Problem-solving justice
  7. Restorative Justice
  8. Sentencing commissions and guidelines

As part of the National Justice Survey 2017, EKOS Research Associates to conduct an online public opinion survey with a sample of Canadians who received invitations through email, Facebook and Twitter (called an "open link" sample). This group of people, who reported higher levels of knowledge regarding issues such as sentencing and MMPs, were asked the same questions as the representative sample of Canadians. Their responses are analyzed and compared with the representative sample in Research at a Glance summaries in the following topics:

  1. Mandatory Minimum Penalties (MMPs) - Responses from a self-selected sample
  2. Diversion, Discretion, and Sentencing Commissions - Responses from a self-selected sample

Youth Engagement projects

The RSD conducted Youth Engagement projects in 2016 and 2017 with the goal of engaging youth on specific aspects of the criminal justice system (CJS) review to allow the Department to consider young people's opinions in reforms that will resonate with them over the longer term. The results are summarized in short Research at a Glance publications on the following topics:

National Justice Survey 2016: Canada's Criminal Justice System

The National Justice Survey 2016 focuses on the criminal justice system (CJS) to inform the current criminal justice system review and engage with adults 18+ from across Canada.

Specifically, this nationally representative research involved a traditional public opinion research survey, in informed choice survey and in person and online focus groups. The purpose of this research was to explore Canadians' views perceptions and expectations for the CJS, the values they want it to reflect, objectives of the criminal justice system, and priorities and concerns with respect to criminal justice issues. This work was undertaken to support reforms and new initiatives in this area. A full report and data tables are now available.

A full report is available in HTML at Library and Archives and data tables are available at the Open Government Portal.

If you would like to receive a PDF copy of this report, please send an email to

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