It is always dangerous to prophesize, particularly, as an old Danish proverb warns, about the future. Unfortunately, the temptation to make an educated guess about the future is irresistible.
Criminal defence lawyers have thick skins. It’s sort of a requirement of the job. We often represent unpopular clients who are accused of committing unspeakable acts. There are no snowflakes in the defence bar. But we are human too.
Last month, Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi delivered a stunning rebuke of his Crown attorneys and publicly announced that they had not been following the law.
The Liberals made a lot of promises during the 2015 election. But as electoral reform, lower small business taxes, stock option loopholes, modest deficits and on and on demonstrate, election promises are made to be broken.
The irrationality of the Liberal government’s legislation to legalize marijuana was brought into sharp focus last week as bill C-45 made its way through the health committee.
The problem is obvious — the war on drugs has been an abject failure. Criminalization of marijuana abdicates control over the production, distribution and regulation of cannabis to criminal organizations. Yes, your dealer may be a middle-class, suburban stay-at-home dad, but as a criminal lawyer, I have seen the bloodshed brought about by illegal weed. The bottom line is that the criminalization of marijuana kills.
Canadians were told that reforming the justice system was a priority for Jody Wilson-Raybould and the Trudeau government. We were told that evidence-based policy is the new order of business when it comes to crime and punishment. Both Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould identified the use of mandatory minimum sentences and constraints on judicial discretion as priority areas for reform. And then there was no action.
July 24, 2017|Web exclusive
Omar Khadr is a polarizing figure. To some, Khadr is a child soldier who was brainwashed by his parents and then abandoned by the Canadian government in the notorious and illegal Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. To others, Khadr is a terrorist deserving of no sympathy.
June 19, 2017|Web exclusive
Earlier this month, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould introduced legislation to modernize the Criminal Code. The new legislation, Bill C-51, would repeal sections of the Criminal Code that have been found unconstitutional, remove outdated offences and bring written sexual assault law up to speed with court decisions.
May 23, 2017|Web exclusive
It 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.
April 17, 2017|Web exclusive