Proposed new jails are proof Canada is not upholding UN normsIt has been two years since the United Nations adopted crucial revisions to the international standards on the treatment of prisoners. The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) forcefully called on member states to respect prisoners’ inherent dignity, allow access to medical care, protect vulnerable inmates and ensure access to legal representation.
Published in Web exclusive content
Monday, 01 May 2017 09:01

Court Delays

Court DelaysR. v. Jordan was a wakeup call, but did it really address root causes?
Monday, 01 May 2017 09:00

The solution to court delays

Did the Supreme Court of Canada help anything when it released R. v. Jordan last July, giving courts a timeline before criminal charges are stayed due to delay? Regardless of how you answer that question, you can’t deny that the decision has had an effect. The SCC essentially launched a grenade into the debate about trial delays and how to fix them.
Published in Commentary
Monday, 03 April 2017 09:00

In search of fairness

Photo: Robin Kuniski
Photo: Robin Kuniski
Toronto criminal lawyer Chris Murphy is seeking justice for the family of a Saskatchewan First Nations man who was  fatally shot last August.
Published in Departments
Liberals pick only low-hanging justice fruit with Bill C-39This month, the Liberal government took swift and decisive action against zombie laws found lurking in Canada’s Criminal Code. Except their actions were not swift, decisive or principled but instead a half-hearted grab at only the lowest hanging justice fruit.
 
Published in Web exclusive content
How to keep sexual assault cases on trackCanada’s substantive and procedural sexual assault laws are pretty strong on the books. Consent must be affirmative, contemporaneous and continuous. Mistaken belief in consent must have an air of reality. Sexual history is presumptively inadmissible. Personal records are rarely relevant. Yet only one in 10 sexually assaulted women makes a report to the police and only one out of 10 of these complaints will result in a conviction.
Published in Web exclusive content
Monday, 27 February 2017 09:01

Unlawful act manslaughter

Unlawful act manslaughterIn a decision issued in October 2016 (Fournier c. R), the Superior Court of Québec established that, in certain circumstances, an accusation of manslaughter by means of an unlawful act under s. 222(5)a) of the Criminal Code can be based on a breach of provincial health and safety legislation.
Published in Issue Archive
Conservatives use fear-based politicking to undermine our justice systemThis month Manitoba’s Criminal Review Board granted Will Baker an absolute discharge – and then the theatrical outrage hit the political fan, because Baker is better known as Vince Li, the man responsible for a gruesome and widely publicised 2008 killing on a Greyhound bus.
 
Published in Web exclusive content
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 09:00

Bringing them home

Bringing them homeAn estimated 2.5 million Canadians live outside Canada. In addition, Canadians make almost 50 million visits abroad each year. They travel or reside overseas to do business, study, visit family or vacation. Most find that their stay abroad is uneventful. Some, however, have the unexpected experience of being subjected to arbitrary and prolonged detention — and sometimes even torture.
Don’t blame crown attorneys for court delaysThe central thrust of Michael Spratt’s latest article is that the solution to Ontario’s overburdened criminal justice system is for the political wing of government to “reign in” what the author says are complacent, possessive and overzealous prosecutors.
Published in Web exclusive content
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