Tuesday, 04 July 2017 09:00

Playing the Jordan ‘Trump’ card

Canada’s 150th birthday also marks a darker anniversary. It’s been one year since the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R. v. Jordan.
Published in Commentary
‘Judicial Accountability’ Bill highlights well intentioned hysteriaThe House of Commons has approved Bill C-337, The Judicial Accountability Through Sexual Assault Law Training Act, with little or no debate. The Senate is likely to do the same. This proposed legislation began as a private member’s bill, introduced by Interim Conservative Leader and Leader of the Official Opposition Rona Ambrose which sought to restrict eligibility for judicial appointments to individuals who had completed comprehensive sexual assault education. A blatant and dangerous interference with the independence of the judiciary, it now seems to have been amended to require this training for all judges once appointed, which is less offensive.
Published in Web exclusive content
Monday, 10 April 2017 09:00

Piercing the judicial veil

Piercing the judicial veilWhen I started practising, it seemed that judges were revered, hardly questioned, seldom heard in public and occupied rarified positions in our society. Not many people would suggest that a judge lived on their street or rode the bus. No one would question their judgments, ethics or stability and certainly not in the media.
Published in Web exclusive content
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 09:00

Canada’s excellent justice system

Canadian lawyers often complain about our justice system, as they should. There are countless problems that need fixing, both large and small. Our governments have severely underfunded legal aid, indigenous people are incarcerated at a disproportionate rate, the courts are run with antiquated paper-based technology and millions of Canadians can’t afford to pay for proper legal advice.
Published in Commentary
Monday, 14 November 2016 09:00

Lightning strikes thrice?

Dear Attorney General Yasir Naqvi,
Published in Commentary
SCC appointment Malcolm Rowe best Canadian for the jobJustice Malcolm Rowe, recently appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, may well be the most Canadian judge ever. 
Published in Web exclusive content
Monday, 03 October 2016 09:00

Hiring for diversity

Our cover story this month is on the federal process for appointing judges, and as several experts told us, it is a highly secretive process. But the fact it lacks transparency is not really the biggest problem — it is the lack of diversity once the judges are picked.
Published in Commentary
Monday, 04 July 2016 09:00

Provincial court snakes & ladders

Provincial court snakes & laddersThe two most high-profile criminal trials in Canada in the past year were ones that took place in provincial court. The prosecutions of Senator Mike Duffy and former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi were the source of voluminous media coverage — by national media outlets, on social media, and the subject of endless commentary by columnists, pundits, and academics. As well, the courtroom actions and eventual rulings by justices Charles Vaillancourt and William Horkins were subject to intense scrutiny.
Monday, 04 January 2016 09:00

Behind the headlines

Lori Douglas Canadian Lawyer January magazine cover
Canadian Lawyer January magazine cover
Lori Douglas is proud to point out her former offices as she passes by the courthouse in downtown Winnipeg, but she pauses when she notices something. “Oh, the light’s on,” she says, obviously saddened at the idea that someone else has moved in. Despite the lingering emotions over five years of proceedings at the Canadian Judicial Council, Douglas says she’s doing better than ever since her retirement from the bench in the spring. “I feel fine,” says Douglas, 59. “I haven’t been so well now for five years.”
Monday, 04 January 2016 09:00

A long, hard road

Nobody is perfect. People make mistakes. It could be a momentary lapse of judgment. It could be leading with your heart instead of your brain. It could be trusting someone who perhaps you shouldn’t have. It could be that you were tired. Or it could simply be that something had to be done, and this is what got done. These types of mistakes are and should be forgivable — because no one is perfect.
Published in Commentary
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