By Manisha Krishnan

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that mandatory minimum sentences for repeat drug traffickers are unconstitutional.

The decision, one of two released Friday morning, overturns a policy brought in under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper that forced judges to hand down a minimum of one year in jail to people who are convicted of more than one trafficking offense within a ten-year period.

A separate ruling also struck down a law that infringed on a judge's ability to give credit for time served prior to a conviction.

Civil liberties advocates argued the laws amount to "cruel and unusual punishment"—a Charter violation—that disproportionately affects drug addicts and marginalized people. They said that the laws also effectively tie a judge's hands when it comes to using discretion during sentencing.

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