Michael Spratt

Michael Spratt

Michael Spratt is a partner at the Ottawa criminal law firm Abergel Goldstein & Partners. He has served as a director of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and as vice president of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa. He is an award-winning blogger co-host of the legal and political podcast The Docket. He frequently appears as an expert witness before the House of Commons and the Senate. Check him out at michaelspratt.com and on Twitter @mspratt.

Brawling in professional sports: A criminal-law perspective

Brawling in professional sports: A criminal-law perspective

Does a professional sports contract include a get-out-of-jail-free card for assault?

CCTV cameras don't deter crime, so why does Ottawa want them?

CCTV cameras don't deter crime, so why does Ottawa want them?

In the wake of several fatal shootings in Ottawa’s ByWard Market the city’s mayor Jim Watson desperately reached for the lowest of low hanging fruit – he wants to install CCTV surveillance cameras.

More is needed than judicial education for sexual assault law

Sometimes judges make mistakes. Sometimes they get the facts wrong. Sometimes it’s the law. Mistakes are often corrected by appeal courts. That is how our system works. And although nothing is perfect, our system works pretty well.

Ontario needs another Leslie Frost, not another Caroline Mulroney

There were lots of reasons to fire Caroline Mulroney. So very, very many reasons.

Canada's treatment of Indigenous peoples fits the definition of 'genocide'

Some people believe the earth is flat. Some people believe climate change is a myth. Some people believe the justice system is colour-blind. All of those people are dangerously wrong.

The judicial system can’t withstand political interference

The Canadian justice system is one of the pillars that supports our democracy. The rule of law gives people a legal recourse to hold those in power to account.

Ontario's legal aid cuts leave David unarmed against Goliath

Last week, the Ontario budget slashed funding to Legal Aid Ontario by over 30 per cent. Adding to the cruelty, the $133 million cut takes effect immediately – there was no advanced notice. And to make matters even worse the province has directed LAO that no provincial money can be used to cover immigration and refugee law, leaving that program with a staggering and unexpected $45 million shortfall.

The legality and morality of covert phone-call-recording

Just because there is not a law prohibiting an act does not make that act right or moral. Criminality should not and cannot represent the line of propriety in politics. A defence that no law was broken is usually the last line of defence for the morally bankrupt. So the real question is if Wilson-Raybould’s actions were moral? Was taping the conversation the right thing to do?

SNC-Lavalin affair raises the issue of the role of former judges

The SNC-Lavalin scandal has proven to be an insatiable beast with tentacles reaching deep into the political and legal worlds — perhaps even as far as the Supreme Court of Canada.

Gerald Butts' quarrel with Jody Wilson-Raybould's evidence falls short

Gerald Butts came to the justice committee not to bury Canada’s former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould but to praise her. He told the committee that he was not going to “quarrel” with Wilson-Raybould’s evidence and pledged not to say a “single negative word about her.” And then he did just that.